Death Expectancy H1 -- An Alternative Measure for Longevity

Niklas Ullrich , University of Rostock
Carl P. Schmertmann, Florida State University
Roland Rau, University of Rostock

We introduce death expectancy H1, an alternative measure for longevity. It is the age when the cumulative hazard is one, i.e. the age at which an individual could expect to have lived exactly one life, if death were a repeatable event. Standard statistical relationships reveal that this age is reached when the probability of survival is about 36.8%. In the special case of identical mortality rates at all ages, H1 and life expectancy are equal, but we demonstrate using other mortality laws that this is not true in general. Using data from the Human Mortality Database, we show, for instance, that H1 is similar to the modal age at death in recent decades and about 5 years higher than life expectancy. We demonstrate that the latter result could be expected in a "true" Gompertz setting. We suggest that H1 could be used as a dynamic threshold age for the oldest-old.

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 Presented in Session 25. Advancements in Mortality analysis