Life Tables

  • Farhat Yusuf
  • Jo. M. Martins
  • David A. Swanson


The discussion of issues concerned with mortality, survival and longevity form an introduction to the estimation of life tables. Assumptions underlying the life table in regard to constancy of age-specific mortality rates, total number of births, and the absence of migration are discussed. This is followed by a detailed description and computational methods of the estimation of columns in the life table concerned with survivorship, deaths, person-years lived and life expectancy, in complete and abridged life tables. Interpretation and graphic representation of different life table columns is included. Basic data required for the construction of both a complete and an abridged life table are discussed, highlighting the differences between these two types of period life tables. Alternative methods of the building of life tables are considered and results compared. Step by step estimation of each component in life tables is indicated and numerical examples given. Apart from demographic uses of life tables, applications in other fields such as insurance, epidemiology and other commercial and industrial activities are discussed.


Life Table Real Population Synthetic Population Hypothetical Population Average Annual Death Rate 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Farhat Yusuf
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jo. M. Martins
    • 2
  • David A. Swanson
    • 3
  1. 1.Menzies Centre for Health Policy Sydney School of Public HealthThe University of SydneySydneyAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Marketing and Management Faculty of Business and EconomicsMacquarie UniversityNorth RydeAustralia
  3. 3.Department of Sociology College of Humanities, Arts and Social SciencesUniversity of California RiversideRiversideUSA

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