Volume 21 - Article 19 | Pages 569-598

Dissecting the compression of mortality in Switzerland, 1876-2005

By Siu Lan Karen Cheung, Jean-Marie Robine, Fred Paccaud, Alfio Marazzi

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Date received:05 Nov 2007
Date published:23 Oct 2009
Word count:4064
Keywords:compression of mortality, typical longevity, variability of adult life span
DOI:10.4054/DemRes.2009.21.19
 

Abstract

This paper aims to examine changes in common longevity and variability of the adult life span, and attempts to answer whether or not the compression of mortality continues in Switzerland in the years 1876-2005. The results show that the negative relationships between the large increase in the adult modal age at death, observed at least from the 1920s, and the decrease in the standard deviation of the ages at deaths occurring above it, illustrate a significant compression of adult mortality. Typical adult longevity increased by about 10% during the last fifty years in Switzerland, and adult heterogeneity in the age at death decreased in the same proportion. This analysis has not found any evidence suggesting that we are approaching longevity limits in term of modal or even maximum life spans. It ascertains a slowdown in the reduction of adult heterogeneity in longevity, already observed in Japan and other low mortality countries.

Author's Affiliation

Siu Lan Karen Cheung - University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong [Email]
Jean-Marie Robine - INSERM U988 & U710 - EPHE, France [Email]
Fred Paccaud - University of Lausanne, Switzerland [Email]
Alfio Marazzi - University of Lausanne, Switzerland [Email]

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