Longer Lives at Older Ages

Roland Rau, University of Rostock
James W. Vaupel, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Robert Beise, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research

Our paper analyzes recent developments in oldest-old mortality. Monitoring these trends is not only of academic interest but also highly important for public-policy makers as well as businesses such as reinsurance companies. The analysis is based on data from the Human Mortality Database and the Kannisto-Thatcher-Database on Old-Age Mortality. Our preliminary results indicate that in recent years survival improvements above age 80 contributed more than 40 percent to the increase in record life expectancy at birth. We show that not only does life expectancy at birth rise linearly in the record-holding country and some other countries: also, at age 65 life expectancy increases linearly for at least 25 years. The slope is not as steep as for life expectancy at birth. Nevertheless, 65-year-old Japanese women gain more than five hours of life expectancy every day.

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Presented in Session 60: Health and Mortality - International Experiences