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Dissecting the compression of mortality in Switzerland, 1876-2005

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  • Siu Lan Karen Cheung

    (University of Hong Kong)

  • Jean-Marie Robine

    (INSERM U988 & U710 - EPHE)

  • Fred Paccaud

    (University of Lausanne)

  • Alfio Marazzi

    (University of Lausanne)

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    Abstract

    This paper aims to examine changes in common longevity and variability of the adult life span, and attempts to answer whether or not the compression of mortality continues in Switzerland in the years 1876-2005. The results show that the negative relationships between the large increase in the adult modal age at death, observed at least from the 1920s, and the decrease in the standard deviation of the ages at deaths occurring above it, illustrate a significant compression of adult mortality. Typical adult longevity increased by about 10% during the last fifty years in Switzerland, and adult heterogeneity in the age at death decreased in the same proportion. This analysis has not found any evidence suggesting that we are approaching longevity limits in term of modal or even maximum life spans. It ascertains a slowdown in the reduction of adult heterogeneity in longevity, already observed in Japan and other low mortality countries.

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    File URL: http://www.demographic-research.org/volumes/vol21/19/21-19.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany in its journal Demographic Research.

    Volume (Year): 21 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 19 (October)
    Pages: 569-598

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    Handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:21:y:2009:i:19

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    Web page: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/

    Related research

    Keywords: compression of mortality; typical longevity; variability of adult life span;

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    References

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    1. John Wilmoth & Shiro Horiuchi, 1999. "Rectangularization revisited: Variability of age at death within human populations," Demography, Springer, Springer, vol. 36(4), pages 475-495, November.
    2. Vladimir Canudas-Romo, 2008. "The modal age at death and the shifting mortality hypothesis," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 19(30), pages 1179-1204, July.
    3. Siu Cheung & Jean-Marie Robine & Edward Tu & Graziella Caselli, 2005. "Three dimensions of the survival curve: horizontalization, verticalization, and longevity extension," Demography, Springer, Springer, vol. 42(2), pages 243-258, May.
    4. John Bongaarts, 2005. "Long-range trends in adult mortality: Models and projection methods," Demography, Springer, Springer, vol. 42(1), pages 23-49, February.
    5. J.-M. Robine, 2001. "Redefining the Stages of the Epidemiological Transition by a Study of the Dispersion of Life Spans: The Case of France," Population (french edition), Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED), Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED), vol. 13(1), pages 173-193.
    6. A. R. Thatcher, 1999. "The long-term pattern of adult mortality and the highest attained age," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 162(1), pages 5-43.
    7. R. Thatcher, 2001. "The Demography of Centenarians in England and Wales," Population (french edition), Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED), Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED), vol. 13(1), pages 139-156.
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    Cited by:
    1. Nadine Ouellette & Robert Bourbeau, 2011. "Changes in the age-at-death distribution in four low mortality countries: A nonparametric approach," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 25(19), pages 595-628, September.

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