Book Chapter

Forecasting life expectancy: the SCOPE approach

Vaupel, J. W.
In: Bengtsson, T., Keilman, N. (Eds.): Old and new perspectives on mortality forecasting, 73–77
Demographic research monographs -
Cham, Springer (2019)
Open Access


This note outlines a method for forecasting life expectancy. The method is based on the idea of structured conditional probabilistic estimation; it “scopes” out the range of possibilities the future may hold. I first described this SCOPE method at a workshop organized by Juha Alho several years ago in Finland. It is a kind of scenario method – with probabilities attached to scenarios, with scenarios structured conditionally, and with the possibility of stochastic scenarios. It is a simple method, and it is by no means original; many other people have used a similar approach in various settings. This method might be helpful to those who want to forecast life expectancy. This note summarizes my presentation.

The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.