Influence of changing population composition on mortality dynamics in Central and Eastern Europe

Evgueni Andreev, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Tatyana Kharkova, Institute of Demography, State University Higher School of Economics
Domantas Jasilionis, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Vladimir Shkolnikov, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research

This paper focuses on the consequences of proportional changes in population distribution by marital status for the dynamics in mortality of entire adult populations of Russia, Estonia, Lithuania, and Hungary between the end of the 1970s and the end of the 1990s. The decomposition method based on step-wise replacement procedure (Andreev, Shkolnikov, Begun, 2002) was applied to quantify separate contributions of dynamics of within-category mortality and shifts in population composition to overall changes in standardized death rates. The results of decomposition analyses show that overall increases in male mortality in Russia, Estonia, and Lithuania can be explained by changes in population composition (such as decrease in the proportion of married people). The joint contributions of mortality changes within marital status categories work against the overall mortality increases in all countries. However, these effects are too small to compensate adverse impacts of the compositional shifts. These findings suggest that male mortality would not have increased if the countries had maintained the same population composition by marital status. In Hungary and Finland (taken as an example of low mortality countries), the negative influence of the changing population composition was counterbalanced by more significant contributions of mortality decreases within marital status categories. Finally, the transformations in population composition had a negligible impact on female mortality dynamics in all countries under study. Our results suggest that changes in population composition by marital status may have substantially diminished or even counterbalanced the positive impacts of improvements in education on male mortality dynamics in the post communist countries.

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Presented in Session 18: Data Collection and Analysis Issues