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Lifespan Inequalities: Why the age-at-death distribution varies between countries and socioeconomic groups

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "LIFEINEQ" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: Munich
postcode: 80539

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Germany [DE]
 Total cost 1˙479˙105 €
 EC max contribution 1˙479˙105 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2016-STG
 Funding Scheme ERC-STG
 Starting year 2017
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2017-07-01   to  2022-06-30


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

Individuals and populations are surviving to ever higher ages. A crucial and timely question for policymakers is whether to direct limited resources toward future life expectancy increases or toward reductions of inequalities in longevity. These inequalities, hereafter referred to as lifespan inequality but also known as age-at-death variation, are large, infrequently summarized, and impose major costs on individuals and society. In order to formulate effective policies to reduce lifespan inequality, we need a deeper understanding of the magnitude and causes of divergent age patterns of mortality decline.

This project will undertake the most comprehensive inquiry to date into the development and anticipated future course of lifespan inequality in contemporary developed countries. Specifically LIFEINEQ has four main research objectives: (1) To quantify the recent and forecasted contributions of premature and old age mortality decline to changes in lifespan inequalities, (2) To determine the ages and causes of death that drive outlying age patterns of mortality, (3) To analyze the development of lifespan inequality by socioeconomic groups, and (4) To assess the impact of individual differences in behaviour on lifespan inequality.

LIFEINEQ will tackle the above objectives using a combination of established and newly developed decomposition techniques, many of which were co-developed by the PI. These innovative techniques aim to isolate the ages, causes of death, periods, cohorts, and socioeconomic groups that propagate lifespan inequalities. The benefit to society is clear: a ground-breaking analysis of lifespan inequality could revolutionize the way that we conceive longevity. Just as economists have long summarized national income by the GDP and the Gini coefficient, so too will health experts summarize survival by life expectancy and lifespan inequality for a more complete picture of population health.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2020 Christian Dudel, Tim Riffe, Enrique Acosta, Alyson van Raalte, Mikko Myrskyla
Monitoring trends and differences in COVID-19 case fatality rates using decomposition methods: Contributions of age structure and age-specific fatality
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI: 10.1101/2020.03.31.20048397
medRxiv preprint 2020-04-15
2019 Marília R. Nepomuceno, Vladimir Canudas-Romo
Comparaison de survie de cohortes entre les pays d’Europe centrale et orientale et les pays à longévité élevée
published pages: 299, ISSN: 0032-4663, DOI: 10.3917/popu.1903.0299
Population 74/3 2020-03-11
2020 José Manuel Aburto, Francisco Villavicencio, Ugofilippo Basellini, Søren Kjærgaard, James W. Vaupel
Dynamics of life expectancy and life span equality
published pages: 201915884, ISSN: 0027-8424, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1915884117
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 2020-03-05
2020 Jesús-Adrián Alvarez, José Manuel Aburto, Vladimir Canudas-Romo
Latin American convergence and divergence towards the mortality profiles of developed countries
published pages: 75-92, ISSN: 0032-4728, DOI: 10.1080/00324728.2019.1614651
Population Studies 74/1 2020-02-13
2019 José Manuel Aburto, Jesús-Adrián Alvarez-Martínez, Francisco Villavicencio, James W. Vaupel
The threshold age of the lifetable entropy
published pages: 83-102, ISSN: 1435-9871, DOI: 10.4054/demres.2019.41.4
Demographic Research 41 2020-02-13
2020 Alyson A van Raalte, Sebastian Klüsener, Anna Oksuzyan, Pavel Grigoriev
Declining regional disparities in mortality in the context of persisting large inequalities in economic conditions: the case of Germany
published pages: , ISSN: 0300-5771, DOI: 10.1093/ije/dyz265
International Journal of Epidemiology 2020-02-13
2019 Angela Carollo, Anna Oksuzyan, Sven Drefahl, Carlo Giovanni Camarda, Linda Juel Ahrenfeldt, Kaare Christensen, Alyson van Raalte
Is the age difference between partners related to women\'s earnings?
published pages: 425-460, ISSN: 1435-9871, DOI: 10.4054/demres.2019.41.15
Demographic Research 41 2020-02-13
2019 Enrique Acosta
Age, period, and cohort effects on adult mortality due to extrinsic causes of death
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
2019 Jenny García, José Manuel Aburto
The impact of violence on Venezuelan life expectancy and lifespan inequality
published pages: 1593-1601, ISSN: 0300-5771, DOI: 10.1093/ije/dyz072
International Journal of Epidemiology 48/5 2020-02-13
2018 Alyson A. van Raalte
Ungleichheiten im Sterbealter als demografisches Maß: Was ist das und warum ist es so wichtig?
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI: 10.17617/1.7h
Jahrbuch der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft 2020-02-13
2019 Enrique Acosta, Stacey A. Hallman, Lisa Y. Dillon, Nadine Ouellette, Robert Bourbeau, D. Ann Herring, Kris Inwood, David J. D. Earn, Joaquin Madrenas, Matthew S. Miller, Alain Gagnon
Determinants of Influenza Mortality Trends: Age-Period-Cohort Analysis of Influenza Mortality in the United States, 1959–2016
published pages: 1723-1746, ISSN: 0070-3370, DOI: 10.1007/s13524-019-00809-y
Demography 56/5 2020-02-13
2020 José Manuel Aburto
On the relationship between life expectancy and lifespan equality
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
2019 Enrique Acosta, Alyson van Raalte
APC curvature plots: Displaying nonlinear age-period-cohort patterns on Lexis plots
published pages: 1205-1234, ISSN: 1435-9871, DOI: 10.4054/demres.2019.41.42
Demographic Research 41 2020-02-13
2019 Rosie Seaman, Tim Riffe, Hal Caswell
Changing contribution of area-level deprivation to total variance in age at death: a population-based decomposition analysis
published pages: e024952, ISSN: 2044-6055, DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-024952
BMJ Open 9/3 2019-09-09
2019 Rosie Seaman, Tim Riffe, Alastair H. Leyland, Frank Popham, Alyson van Raalte
The increasing lifespan variation gradient by area-level deprivation: A decomposition analysis of Scotland 1981–2011
published pages: 147-157, ISSN: 0277-9536, DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2019.04.008
Social Science & Medicine 230 2019-09-09
2018 José Manuel Aburto, Alyson van Raalte
Lifespan Dispersion in Times of Life Expectancy Fluctuation: The Case of Central and Eastern Europe
published pages: 2071-2096, ISSN: 0070-3370, DOI: 10.1007/s13524-018-0729-9
Demography 55/6 2019-02-25
2019 José Manuel Aburto, Hiram Beltrán-Sánchez
Upsurge of Homicides and Its Impact on Life Expectancy and Life Span Inequality in Mexico, 2005–2015
published pages: e1-e7, ISSN: 0090-0036, DOI: 10.2105/ajph.2018.304878
American Journal of Public Health https://ajph.aphapublications.o 2019-02-28
2018 José Manuel Aburto, Tim Riffe, Vladimir Canudas-Romo
Trends in avoidable mortality over the life course in Mexico, 1990–2015: a cross-sectional demographic analysis
published pages: e022350, ISSN: 2044-6055, DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-022350
BMJ Open 8/7 2019-02-25
2018 Alain Gagnon, Enrique Acosta, Matthew S. Miller
Reporting and evaluating influenza virus surveillance data: An argument for incidence by single year of age
published pages: 6249-6252, ISSN: 0264-410X, DOI: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2018.08.077
Vaccine 36/42 2019-02-28
2018 Alyson A. van Raalte, Isaac Sasson, Pekka Martikainen
The case for monitoring life-span inequality
published pages: 1002-1004, ISSN: 0036-8075, DOI: 10.1126/science.aau5811
Science 362/6418 2019-02-25
2018 José Manuel Aburto, Maarten Wensink, Alyson van Raalte, Rune Lindahl-Jacobsen
Potential gains in life expectancy by reducing inequality of lifespans in Denmark: an international comparison and cause-of-death analysis
published pages: , ISSN: 1471-2458, DOI: 10.1186/s12889-018-5730-0
BMC Public Health 18/1 2019-02-25

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