Longevity and month of birth: evidence from Austria and Denmark

Doblhammer, G.

Demographic Research, 1:3 (1999)



This article shows that in two European countries, Austria and Denmark, a person’s life span correlates with his or her month of birth. It presents evidence that this pattern is not the result of the seasonal distribution of death. It also shows that the seasonal pattern in longevity cannot be explained by the so-called "irthday effect"– the alleged tendency of people to die shortly after their birthday. The article concludes with a discussion of possible social and biological mechanisms related to a person’s season of birth that might influence life expectancy. (MPG)