Decennial life tables for the white population of the United States, 1790-1900

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Abstract

In this article, the author constructs new life tables for the white population of the United States in each decade between 1790 and 1900. Drawing from several recent studies, he suggests best estimates of life expectancy at age 20 for each decade. These estimates are fitted to new standards derived from the 1900-1902 rural and 1900-1902 overall death registration area life tables using a two-parameter logit model with fixed slope. The resulting decennial life tables more accurately represent sex- and age-specific mortality rates while capturing known mortality trends.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-79
Number of pages35
JournalHistorical Methods
Volume43
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2010
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
1. This work was supported in part by NIHCD grant number 1 K01-HD052617–01 and an Arthur H. Cole Grant-in-Aid Award from the Economic History Association. The author would like to thank Samuel H. Preston, Douglas Ewbank, and Michael R. Haines for helpful comments.

Keywords

  • Demographic history
  • Demography
  • Life table
  • Mortality
  • Nineteenth century
  • United States

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