Objectives: This report presents complete period life tables by Hispanic origin, race for the non-Hispanic white and non-Hispanic black populations, and sex for the United States based on age-specific death rates in 2006.
Methods: The methods used to estimate the probability of death for ages 0-80 for the Hispanic population and 0-65 for the non-Hispanic white and non-Hispanic black populations are the same as those used in annual U.S. life tables since 1997, with an important modification. Age-specific death rates are first corrected for racial and ethnic misclassification on U.S. death certificates. To address the effects of age misstatement at the oldest ages, the methodology used to estimate mortality for ages 66 and over for the non-Hispanic white and non-Hispanic black populations is the same as that used to estimate the annual life tables since 2005. For the Hispanic population, the probability of death for ages over 80 is estimated as a function of non-Hispanic white mortality with the use of the Brass relational logit model.
Results: Life expectancy at birth for the total population in 2006 was 77.7 years; 80.6 years for the Hispanic population, 78.1 years for the non-Hispanic white population, and 72.9 years for the non-Hispanic black population. The Hispanic population has a life expectancy advantage at birth of 2.5 years over the non-Hispanic white population and 7.7 years over the non-Hispanic black population. Although seemingly paradoxical, these results are consistent with the findings of numerous studies which show a Hispanic mortality advantage despite this population's lower socioeconomic status. Nonetheless, the procedures used in this report to correct for racial and ethnic misclassification and age misstatement are not error free and therefore some of the observed advantage may still be a function of data artifact. This report does not address other factors that may explain the Hispanic mortality advantage.