A Cohort Analysis of Mortality in New Zealand, 1876-2004

Kim Dunstan, Statistics New Zealand
Jit Cheung, Statistics New Zealand

New Zealand is one of few countries with relatively complete demographic data sources from the late 19th century. This has enabled the compilation from 1876 of detailed birth, death and external migration data series by year of occurrence and birth cohort. This pioneering work laid the foundation for the construction of complete cohort life tables and a systematic cohort analysis covering the entire nation over 130 years and beyond. The analysis provides empirical evidence of changes in mortality and survivorship during New Zealand’s history. This includes quantifying the under estimation of life expectancy in period life tables, and quantifying the major population shock of two World Wars. This compilation and analysis of cohort mortality provides a new and valuable resource to research endeavours in the areas of mortality, human longevity, and various transition theories, which will contribute to the understanding of the drivers of mortality changes and future mortality trends.

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Presented in Session 110: Long Run Trends and Differentials in Mortality