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Increasing excess mortality among non-married elderly people in developed countries


  • FFF1Tapani NNN1Valkonen

    (Helsingin Yliopisto (University of Helsinki))

  • FFF2Pekka NNN2Martikainen

    (Helsingin Yliopisto (University of Helsinki))

  • FFF2Jenni NNN2Blomgren

    (Terveyden ja hyvinvoinnin laitos (National Institute for Health and Welfare))


This article analyses changes in marital status differences in mortality from approximately 1970 to 1995 among men and women aged 65-74 in ten developed countries (Belgium, Canada, Denmark, England and Wales, Finland, France, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden). Data were obtained from the United Nations Demographic Yearbooks and national statistical sources. According to the results there has been a trend towards increasing excess mortality among single men compared to married men and single, divorced and widowed women compared to married women in most western European countries and Canada in the 1980s and 1990s. This has been brought about by a more rapid decline in mortality among married persons and a slower decline or even an increase among non-married persons. In Japan the excess mortality of non-married men and women decreased.

Suggested Citation

  • FFF1Tapani NNN1Valkonen & FFF2Pekka NNN2Martikainen & FFF2Jenni NNN2Blomgren, 2004. "Increasing excess mortality among non-married elderly people in developed countries," Demographic Research Special Collections, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 2(12), pages 305-330, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:dem:drspec:v:2:y:2004:i:12

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Watson, Peggy, 1995. "Explaining rising mortality among men in Eastern Europe," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 41(7), pages 923-934, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Haan, Peter & Prowse, Victoria, 2014. "Longevity, life-cycle behavior and pension reform," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 178(P3), pages 582-601.
    2. Donrovich, Robyn & Drefahl, Sven & Koupil, Ilona, 2014. "Early life conditions, partnership histories, and mortality risk for Swedish men and women born 1915–1929," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 60-67.
    3. Berntsen, Kjersti Norgård & Kravdal, Øystein, 2012. "The relationship between mortality and time since divorce, widowhood or remarriage in Norway," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(12), pages 2267-2274.
    4. Christian Monteil & Isabelle Robert-Bobée, 2006. "Différentiels sociaux et familiaux de mortalité aux âges actifs : quelles différences entre les femmes et les hommes ?," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 398(1), pages 11-31.
    5. Dimiter Philipov & Sergei Scherbov, 2016. "Differences by union status in health and mortality at older ages: Results for 16 European countries," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 35(19), pages 535-556, August.
    6. Markéta Pechholdová & Gabriela Šamanová, 2013. "Mortality by marital status in a rapidly changing society: Evidence from the Czech Republic," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 29(12), pages 307-322, August.
    7. Ma, Jin & Yun, Youngyun, 2010. "Correlated intensity, counter party risks, and dependent mortalities," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 337-351, December.
    8. repec:crs:ecosta:es398-399b is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Riina Peltonen & Jessica Y. Ho & Irma T. Elo & Pekka Martikainen, 2017. "Contribution of smoking-attributable mortality to life-expectancy differences by marital status among Finnish men and women, 1971-2010," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 36(8), pages 255-280, January.
    10. Scafato, Emanuele & Galluzzo, Lucia & Gandin, Claudia & Ghirini, Silvia & Baldereschi, Marzia & Capurso, Antonio & Maggi, Stefania & Farchi, Gino & for the ILSA Working Group, 2008. "Marital and cohabitation status as predictors of mortality: A 10-year follow-up of an Italian elderly cohort," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 67(9), pages 1456-1464, November.

    More about this item


    developed countries; inequalities; marital status; mortality; mortality differences; old age; trends;

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • Z0 - Other Special Topics - - General


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