Expected values and variances of several life table functions have been obtained by converting the sample estimates of age-specific mortality rates to probabilities of dying by Reed-Merrell’s approximation. The expressions also permit the development of a procedure that will enable the researcher, constrained usually by his limited resources, to maximize the efficiency of his sampling technique. Needless to say, these results will be particularly useful for countries where national vital statistics are not adequate for construction of life tables, and also for countries where such tables are usually obtained by comparing age distributions of successive censuses.

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