A cohort survival comparison between Central Eastern European and high-longevity countries

By Marília R. Nepomuceno, Vladimir Canudas-Romo

Despite the recent and great improvements in survival across Central and Eastern Europe, this region still lags far behind more developed populations. We take a cohort perspective to investigate the mortality gap between these countries and a group of today’s high-longevity countries, thus showing how cohort survival contributes to overall mortality difference. We decompose the ‘truncated cross-sectional average length of life’ (TCAL) measure in order to isolate the contributions that age and cohort make to the mortality gap. Using data from the Human Mortality Database, from 1959 to 2013, we find that—compared to their counterparts in high-longevity countries—most Central and Eastern European cohorts born from 1959 onwards have higher mortality levels from birth to the age reached in 2013. Also in comparison to these countries, we find a survival advantage for some Central and Eastern European cohorts, e.g. for Czech cohorts born in the early 1960s and for those from former USSR countries born during the 1960s.

  • East–West mortality gap
  • cohort mortality
  • age–cohort decomposition
  • longevity
  • truncated data
  • cross-sectional average length of life
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