Book Chapter

Mortality modeling

In: Gu, D., Dupre, M. E. (Eds.): Encyclopedia of gerontology and population aging
Cham, Springer International Publishing (2020)


Mortality models approximate mortality patterns or dynamics over age and time. An age pattern of mortality can be any mathematical function of mortality, such as rates, probabilities, survivorship, or death distributions. Such functions may be modeled in the form of a life table or a simplified function with some parameters. Mortality models in general fall into three main categories: (i) models designed to help understand regularities in mortality patterns and dynamics, for example where population-level mortality patterns are modeled as an emergent property of dynamics at the individual level, (ii) those that aim to predict mortality patterns, for example for purposes of pension provisions, and (iii) those aimed at mortality measurement for purposes of mortality and health monitoring. In the following, mortality modeling refers to models of mortality measurement at the population level.

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.