Volume 15 - Article 9 | Pages 289–310  

Lee-Carter mortality forecasting: a multi-country comparison of variants and extensions

By Heather Booth, Rob Hyndman, Leonie Tickle, Piet de Jong


We compare the short- to medium-term accuracy of five variants or extensions of the Lee-Carter method for mortality forecasting. These include the original Lee-Carter, the Lee-Miller and Booth-Maindonald-Smith variants, and the more flexible Hyndman-Ullah and De Jong-Tickle extensions. These methods are compared by applying them to sex-specific populations of 10 developed countries using data for 1986-2000 for evaluation. All variants and extensions are more accurate than the original Lee-Carter method for forecasting log death rates, by up to 61%. However, accuracy in log death rates does not necessarily translate into accuracy in life expectancy. There are no significant differences among the five methods in forecast accuracy for life expectancy.

Author's Affiliation

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