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Discussion Papers no. 884

The case of Norway, 1900-2060

Mortality shifts and mortality compression

The aim of the paper is to verify whether the projections predict a continuation of the ongoing compression in mortality and of the steady upward shift in the ages at which people die.

Historically, official Norwegian mortality projections computed by Statistics Norway have consistently under-predicted life expectancy. The projected age distribution of deaths may be used to check if the official mortality projections are plausible. The aim of the paper is to verify whether the projections predict a continuation of the ongoing compression in mortality and of the steady upward shift in the ages at which people die. We use official period data on observed (1900-2015) and projected (2016-2060) sex- and age-specific mortality to estimate the age distribution of life table deaths. We analyse trends in life expectancy at birth, modal and median ages at death, and standard deviation of the age distribution at ages > 30.

The historical shifts towards longer longevity are projected to continue into the future. The projections suggest a steady increase in the modal and the median age at death for men and women towards values between 90 and 94 years in 2060. At present these ages are in the range 83-90 years. Simultaneously, deaths become more concentrated around the mean, as the standard deviation of the age distribution is projected to fall continuously.

Statistics Norway’s projection methodology is capable of tracking ongoing processes of mortality shifts towards higher ages and a compression of mortality around the modal and mean ages. Mortality projections could potentially benefit from including assessments of the age distribution of deaths.

About the publication

Title

Mortality shifts and mortality compression. The case of Norway, 1900-2060

Series and number

Discussion Papers no. 884

Publisher

Statistisk sentralbyrå

Topic

Discussion Papers

ISSN

1892-753X

Number of pages

18

About Discussion Papers

Discussion papers comprise research papers intended for international journals and books. A preprint of a Discussion Paper may be longer and more elaborate than a standard journal article as it may include intermediate calculations, background material etc.

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