Volume 1 - Article 3

Longevity and month of birth: Evidence from Austria and Denmark

By Gabriele Doblhammer

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Date received:12 Jul 1999
Date published:25 Aug 1999
Word count:4043
Keywords:birthday, births, cause of death, longevity, mortality, seasonality


This article shows that in two European countries, Austria and Denmark, a person’s life span correlates with his or her month of birth. It presents evidence that this pattern is not the result of the seasonal distribution of death. It also shows that the seasonal pattern in longevity cannot be explained by the so-called birthday phenomenon, the alleged tendency of people to die shortly after their birthday. The article concludes with a discussion of possible social and biological mechanisms related to a person’s season of birth that might influence life expectancy.

Author's Affiliation

Gabriele Doblhammer - Rostocker Zentrum zur Erforschung des Demografischen Wandels, Germany [Email]

Other articles by the same author/authors in Demographic Research

» A systematic literature review of studies analyzing the effect of sex, age, education, marital status, obesity, and smoking on health transitions
Volume 20 - Article 5

» Trends in educational mortality differentials in Austria between 1981/82 and 2001/2002: A study based on a linkage of census data and death certificates
Volume 19 - Article 51

» Seasonal mortality in Denmark: the role of sex and age
Volume 9 - Article 9

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