The narrowing sex differential in life expectancy: mortality improvement and its efficiency

Zhen Zhang, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
James W. Vaupel, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research

Over the past century the sex differential in life expectancy (e0) has widened in favor of women. A reversal of this differential has been found in some developed countries since the early 1970s. In the present study, we carried out a decomposition analysis to examine the driving forces underlying the narrowing sex differential in e0. The results indicate that (1) the changing sex differential in e0 has been highly correlated to sex difference in mortality change; (2) in narrowing sex differential in e0, mortality reductions have performed more actively than the sex difference in efficiency of mortality; (3) the role by sex difference in mortality change will continue to be dominant in the future, particularly considering that male e0 has been getting close to female one.

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Presented in Session 96: Sex differences in risk factors, disability and mortality