Beyond the Kannisto-Thatcher Database on Old Age Mortality: an assessment of data quality at advanced ages
AbstractThe old age population in developed countries has been increasing remarkably, yet internationally comparable high quality data on oldest-old mortality remain relatively scarce. The Kannisto-Thatcher Old Age Mortality Database (KTD) is a unique source providing uniformly recalculated old-age mortality data for 35 countries. Our study addresses a number of data quality issues relevant to population and death statistics at the most advanced ages. Following previous studies by Väinö Kannisto, we apply the same set of measures. This allows us to identify dubious or irregular mortality patterns. Deviations such as this often suggest that the data quality has serious problems. We update previously published findings by extending the analyses made so far to thirty five countries and by adding data on longer historical periods. In addition, we propose a systematic classification of country- and period-specific data, thus simultaneously accounting for each indicator of data quality. We apply conventional procedures of hierarchical cluster analysis to distinguish four data quality clusters (best data quality, acceptable data quality, conditionally acceptable quality, and weak quality). We show that the reliability of old-age mortality estimates has been improving in time. However, the mortality indicators for the most advanced ages of a number of countries, such as Chile, Canada, and the USA should be treated with caution even for the most recent decade. Canada, Ireland, Finland, Lithuania, New Zealand (Non-Maori), Norway, Portugal, Spain, and the USA have particular problems in their historical data series. After having compared the KTD with official data, we conclude that the methods used for extinct and almost extinct generations produce more accurate population estimates than those published by national statistical offices. The most reliable official data come from the countries with fully functioning population registers.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany in its series MPIDR Working Papers with number WP-2008-013.
Length: 55 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2008
Date of revision:
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Web page: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/
World; data evaluation; mortality; old age;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
- Z0 - Other Special Topics - - General
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- James W. Vaupel & Roland Rau & Carlo Giovanni Camarda & Kristin G. von Kistowski, 2006. "Can Heterogeneity of Populations Explain Differences in Mortality?," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2006-10, Center for Retirement Research.
- Dmitri A. Jdanov & Rembrandt D. Scholz & Vladimir M. Shkolnikov, 2005. "Official population statistics and the Human Mortality Database estimates of populations aged 80+ in Germany and nine other European countries," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 13(14), pages 335-362, November.
- A. Roger Thatcher & Väinö Kannisto & Kirill F. Andreev, 2002. "The Survivor Ratio Method for Estimating Numbers at High Ages," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 6(1), pages 1-18, January.
- Dmitri A. Jdanov & Rembrandt D. Scholz & Vladimir M. Shkolnikov, 2005. "Official population statistics and the Human Mortality Database estimates of populations aged 80+ in Germany and nine other European countries," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2005-010, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
- 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.
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