How Change in Age-specific Mortality Affects Life Expectancy

Vaupel, J.W. (1986). How Change in Age-specific Mortality Affects Life Expectancy. Population Studies 40 (1) 147-157. 10.1080/0032472031000141896.

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This article uses Swedish life tables to examine saving years of life at different ages in order to gain a deeper demographic understanding of the link between age-specific mortality and life expectancy. Before 1900 most of the potential for saving years of life was concentrated in the 1st 5 childhood years; today developed countries concentrate on old age. As life expectancy increases reducing age-specific mortality means less and less increase of life expectancy. The author uses a simple model to examine whether continued progress in mortality reduction will mean a continued increase in life expectancy and finds that the absolute increase in life expectancy remains constant--perhaps a decade of life expectancy per century. Considerations contained within the article include 1) the possible uniqueness of the Swedish data 2) the limitations of using only life table data 3) the reduced quality of life at older ages and 4) the greater ease in averting deaths at younger ages. Since it is also desirable to avert death at any age and to have a society diverse in its age composition many questions of value policy and cost come into play.

Item Type: Article
Research Programs: World Population (POP)
Depositing User: Romeo Molina
Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2016 15:53
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:28

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