Abstract

Patterns of variation in mortality can be studied by measuring changes in selected life table functions. A model is proposed in which the rate of change over time in the life table survivorship probability at any age has been assumed as proportional to the product of its own value and its complementary probability or the probability of dying by that age, where the proportion is the same for all ages and depends only on the time duration between successive life tables. The end result is that the logit functions of the survivorship probabilities at two points in time are linearly related with a slope of one. The projecting power of the model has been tested by using U.S. life tables for the years 1950 and 1970 as well as Coale and Demeny's regional model life tables. In the latter case, the model produced surprisingly close matches even when the expectations of life differed by as much as 20 years.

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