Losses of expected lifetime in the U.S. and other developed countries: methods and empirical analyses

Vladimir Shkolnikov, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Evgueni Andreev, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Zhen Zhang, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
James E Oeppen, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research

Mortality decrease tends to be steeper at younger than at older ages. This leads to a strong negative correlation between the average length of life and the diversity in age at death. The US is characterized by unexpectedly high diversity in ages at death. We use the Vaupel-Canudas Romo’s E-dagger as a measure of diversity. It also reflects the amount of life expectancy losses. We introduce a new method for age- and cause-of-death decomposition of differences between e-dagger values and a procedure for evaluation of efficiency of age distribution of mortality change. The methodology is applied for analysis of mortality trends in the US and England and Wales. It reveals important differences between structures of temporal mortality changes and inter-country mortality variation. These differences help to explain why life expectancy losses correlate with income inequality across countries but not across time.

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Presented in Session 118: Causes of death: the proximate determinants of mortality