Analysis of mortality convergence on sub-national level – regional inequalities as a reason for persisting national differences: case study on the Czech Republic from 1991 to 2010

Dan Kašpar, Charles University in Prague
Klara Hulikova Tesarkova, Charles University in Prague

Analysis of convergence tendencies of selected processes is one of the almost traditional issues of demography. However, it is usually studied on national level. The paper, using data for mortality, emphasizes the importance of the analysis also on the sub-national level. This is presented using data for the Czech Republic (case study). General mortality trend in the Czech Republic is positive (one of the most favorable one within the Central and Eastern Europe) but still not rapid enough for reaching the Western European countries. The main goal of the paper is to analyze regional inequalities in mortality in the Czech Republic in the period 1991–2010 together with possible methods of analysis suitable for the sub-national level. The studied years represent a period of post-revolutionary rapid development with relatively stable mortality improvements. Through the detailed regional analysis using traditional and specific measures the convergent or divergent mortality trends within the country together with the most important conditions standing behind the regional differences are summarized. Mortality conditions within the country are evaluated also in the overall European context. The analysis was based on data from the Czech Statistical Office and Human Mortality Database and life expectancy at birth was selected as the studied indicator. The first part of analysis is focused on descriptive statistics and visualizations of inequalities. Then also measures taking into account the population weights are performed. As the Czech Republic is often taken as a relatively homogeneous country according to many characteristics, one might expect that mortality convergence appeared in the studied period. However, results indicate no clear mortality convergence of the districts – on the contrary, rather mortality divergence is proved (for males). Group of districts which are markedly lagging behind the rest of the Czech population during the whole studied period could be also identified.

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Presented in Session 86: Modelling mortality