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Decomposition of Life Expectancy at Older Ages and Prospects for Ageing Populations

Mayhew, L. & Smith, D. (2016). Decomposition of Life Expectancy at Older Ages and Prospects for Ageing Populations. In: Lombard, J., Stern, E. & Clarke, G. (Eds.), Applied Spatial Modelling and Planning. (pp. 172-188). Routledge.


One of the great success stories in the UK is that people are living longer. Improvements in life expectancy at older ages have particularly accelerated in recent decades. However, there are three unanswered questions -namely, what will life expectancy be in the medium term (10 –20 years, say), will it go on rising indefinitely and what will be the variation in age of death? We find there is a need for better information about life expectancy at both the population and individual level. Policies must be durable, especially anything to do with pensions, health and social care, or housing needs. In this paper we present a new method for forecasting life expectancy based on decomposition techniques. The key advantages are more certainty over which age groups are affected and more accurate information about possible limits to life. Results are presented for England and Wales and the implications discussed. A concluding section briefly compares our approach with other methods.

Publication Type: Book Section
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge in "Applied Spatial Modelling and Planning" on *th September 2016, available online:, ISBN: 9781138925700
Publisher Keywords: life expectancy, decomposition, limits to life, ageing populations, planning
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HA Statistics
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD61 Risk Management
Departments: Bayes Business School > Actuarial Science & Insurance
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