Subnational Contribution to National Life Expectancy

Vladimir Canudas-Romo , Australian National University
Dmitri A. Jdanov, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (Germany) / National Research University Higher School of Economics (Russia)

During the 20th century, major declines in mortality took place globally, resulting in the unprecedented rise of life expectancy. This process initiated cycles of convergences and divergences in longevity between countries. Yet life expectancy at the national level hides subnational existing longevity variability. Furthermore, little research has been conducted on the existent mortality differentials within populations and the contribution of subnational mortality to changes in national life expectancy. Using data on mortality at the subnational level for Australia (state/territories), Canada (provinces), Japan (prefectures), and the USA (states) the contribution of subnational mortality on the overall national life expectancy of these nations is studied. The decomposition method used highlights the relevance of the structure of the population at the subnational level, to determine the overall mortality changes in the nation. All subnational areas in Australia, Canada, and Japan, have contributed to the increase in the national longevity of these nations. However, for the USA disproportional changes, some positive other negative, make the country’s longevity increase at the lowest pace.

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 Presented in Session 20. National Trends in Life Expectancy and Mortality