Mortality estimation from registered deaths in less developed countries

Demography. 1984 May;21(2):217-33.


Age-specific population growth rates were introduced to demographic analysis in earlier work by Bennett and Horiuchi (1981) and Preston and Coale (1982). In this paper, we derive a method which uses these growth rates to transform what may be a set of incompletely recorded deaths by age into a life table that accurately reflects the true mortality experience of the population under study. The method does not rely on the assumption of stability and, for example, in contrast to intercensal cohort survival techniques, is simple to implement when presented with nontraditional intercensal interval lengths. Thus we can obtain mortality estimates for less developed countries with defective data, despite departures from stability. Further, we assess the sensitivity of the method to violations in various assumptions underlying the procedure: error in estimated growth rates, existence of non-zero net intercensal migration, age dependence in the completeness of death registration, and misreporting of age at death and age in the population. We demonstrate the use of the method in an application to data referring to Argentine females during the period 1960 to 1970.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Argentina
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Developing Countries*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Mortality*
  • Registries*
  • Sex Factors