Introduction Mortality Transition
2 The Data

Unpublished data for 1749-1807 in the archives of Statistics Sweden in Stockholm and likewise mainly unpublished data for 1808-80 at Statistics Finland in Helsinki were collected by Turpeinen and published in the form of 13 decennial life tables covering the years 1751-1880 [38]. Since 1878, deaths in Finland have been published by single year of age and by year of birth and, based on these data, official life tables have been regularly published beginning with one for 1881-90. These tables were recently revised at older ages by the extinct-cohort method and published in a single volume covering the period 1881-1990 [15]. Finally, the tables for 1991-5 have just been published [27].

Though the data on marriages, births and deaths throughout the period are considered very reliable, the population data did not account accurately for the large-scale emigration to North America before 1914. This was the main reason for the revision of certain tables mentioned above.

Many countries have been constructing life tables around a census year when the population data are most accurate. In Finland, instead, they have been calculated for 10- or 5-year periods because the quality of register-based, periodically verified population data hardly varies from year to year. An advantage is the absence of time gaps and the larger number of cases recorded over a longer period - important for a small country.

Introduction Mortality Transition

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Finnish Life Tables since 1751
Väinö Kannisto, Oiva Turpeinen, and Mauri Nieminen
© 1999 - 2000 Max-Planck-Gesellschaft ISSN 1435-9871