Cohort survival comparisons among industrialized countries: the truncated cross-sectional average length of life approach
Marilia Nepomuceno, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG)
Vladimir Canudas-Romo, Max-Planck Odense Center on the Biodemography of Aging
Background: The longevity progress in developed countries has not been observed uniformly, triggering a mortality gap between them. In addition to knowing that the mortality disparity exists, a deeper understanding is obtained by recognizing at which ages survival differences specifically appear. Objective: To investigate how different cohorts present in 2010 among industrialized countries contribute to the longevity gap between countries. Methods: We selected 34 industrialized countries from the Human Mortality Database and compare them with other high longevity countries (HLC). We calculate the Truncated Cross-sectional Average Length of Life (TCAL) in 2010 for all these countries, and decomposed the differences between countries’ TCALs by age and cohort. Results: Nordic and Western-central Europe, as well as the selected Non-European countries, experienced a cohort survival advantage compared with other HLCs in 2010, while Southern and Eastern-Europe experienced lower cohort survival than other HLCs. The age-cohort decomposition of differences in TCALs revealed recent cohort developments: higher infant/child mortality in Non-European countries, and lower infant/child mortality in Southern-Europe than in other HLCs. Only the oldest Nordic cohorts born before 1920 reduced the overall survival advantage of Northern-Europe compared with other HLCs in 2010. A similar cohort survival trajectory was experienced by Western-central European cohorts compared with other HLCs. All the Eastern cohorts present in 2010 experienced higher mortality than other HLCs. Contribution: We complement research of mortality gaps by adding a cohort survival perspective. While gaps in life expectancy at birth reflect disparities in current mortality, differences in TCALs add the historical mortality information.