How to correct overestimation of Moldovan life expectancy in the 1960s and 1970s ?

Olga Penina, Academy of Sciences of Moldova
France Meslé, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)
Jacques Vallin, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)

Like in other countries of the former USSR, recent trends in Moldovan life expectancy have been fluctuating without progressing much in the total. To try to understand these recent trends, it is useful to confront them to long-term changes. Unfortunately, by contrast with other European Republics of the former USSR, the quality of available data appears to have been quite questionable until the late 1970s. This paper aims to discuss the quality of death registration, especially in infancy by examining trends in registered infant deaths by age, cause and place of death. A particular attention will be also paid to old age mortality. New estimates of infant and adult mortality will be done and used to reassess trends in life expectancy since 1959. As a result, it appears that, taking in account under-registration of deaths to re-estimate past mortality levels is not enough to explain the rather unfavourable observed trends especially for males. This work is a first step to go further by analysing mortality trends by cause.

Presented in Session 18: Data Collection and Analysis Issues