Minimum death rates and maximum life expectancy: relations and forecast
Vladimir Canudas-Romo, Max-Planck Odense Center on the Biodemography of Aging
The maximum life expectancy observed in a given year across countries in the world, or record life expectancy, represents the highest current longevity that all populations in the world can achieve. However, an even higher life expectancy can be calculated based on the minimum age-specific death rates observed in a given year. We investigate the relations between the life expectancy of a synthetic cohort based on minimum death rates, and the actual record life expectancy attained that year. Our results show that on average in less than 5 years the life expectancy levels derived from the minimum death rates are achieved by a record life expectancy country. Record holder countries have on average less than 50% of the observed minimum death rates. However, the ages where the two coincide, i.e. minimum age-specific death rates in the record life expectancy country, are ages where the gain in life expectancy is the greatest.