Human Life-Table Database


Life tables describe the extent to which a generation of people (i.e. life table cohort) dies off with age. Life tables are the most ancient and important tool in demography. They are widely used for descriptive and analytical purposes in demography, public health, epidemiology, population geography, biology and many other branches of science.

The Human Life-Table Database is a collection of population life tables covering a multitude of countries and many years. Most of the HLD life tables are life tables for national populations, which have been officially published by national statistical offices. Some of the HLD life tables refer to certain regional or ethnic sub-populations within countries. Parts of the HLD life tables are non-official life tables produced by researchers.

HLD includes the following types of data:

Three scientific institutions are jointly developing the HLD: the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock, Germany, the Department of Demography at the University of California at Berkeley, USA and the Institut national d'études démographiques (INED) in Paris, France. The MPIDR is responsible for maintaining the database.

A big set of life tables was collected for and given to the HLD by Dr. Väinö Kannisto, a former United Nations advisor on demographic and social statistics. Professor J.W.Vaupel, Founding Director of the MPIDR, provided a general guidance to the HLD project.

If you are able and willing to contribute to the HLD please do not hesitate to send published or calculated life tables with references to Sigrid Gellers-Barkmann.

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