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Modelling Socio-Economic Differences in the Mortality of Danish Males Using a New Affluence Index

Andrew J.G. Cairns, Malene Kallestrup-Lamb, Carsten P.T. Rosenskjold, David Blake, and Kevin Dowd


We investigate and model how the mortality of Danish males aged 55-94 has changed over the period 1985-2012. We divide the population into ten socio-economic subgroups
using a new measure of affluence that combines wealth and income reported on the Statistics Denmark national register database. The affluence index, in combination
with sub-group lockdown at age 67, is shown to provide consistent sub-group rankings based on crude death rates across all ages and over all years in a way that
improves significantly on previous studies that have focused on life expectancy. The gap between the most and least affluent is confirmed to be widest at younger ages
and has widened over time. We introduce a new multi-population mortality model that ts the historical mortality data very well and generates smoothed death rates that can be used to model a larger number of smaller sub-groups than has been previously possible without losing the essential character of the raw data. The model produces bio-demographically reasonable forecasts of mortality rates that preserve the sub-group rankings at all ages. It also satisfies reasonableness criteria related to the term structure of correlations across ages and over time through consideration of future death and survival rates.

Keywords: Danish mortality data; affluence; CBD-X model; gravity model; multipopulation mortality modelling.