Gender convergence in human survival and the postponement of death. (English) Zbl 1412.91051

Summary: It has been a long-accepted demographic maxim that females outlive males. Using data for England and Wales, we show that life expectancy at age 30 is converging, and continuation of this long-term trend suggests life expectancy could reach parity in 2030, resulting in considerable economic and social ramifications. The degree of parity in life expectancy is examined by comparing the historical record in four countries that show that convergence is not a new phenomenon. Contributory factors are considered including changes in male smoking habits and male employment patterns. A model is presented that considers gender differences in longevity using novel methods for analyzing life tables. It determines the ages from which death is being postponed, to the ages at which people now die, the relative speed at which these changes are taking place between genders, and how the changes observed are affecting survival prospects at different ages up to 2030. It finds that as life expectancy continues to rise there is accompanying convergence in modal age of death of between 92 and 93 years.


91B30 Risk theory, insurance (MSC2010)
62P05 Applications of statistics to actuarial sciences and financial mathematics


Human Mortality
Full Text: DOI Link


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