Book Chapter

Where is the level of the mortality plateau?

Rau, R., Ebeling, M., Peters, F., Bohk-Ewald, C., Missov, T. I.
In: Society of Actuaries (Ed.): 2017 Living to 100 monograph, 1–21
Living to 100 -
Schaumburg, IL, Society of Actuaries (2017)
Open Access


Using data from the ”International Database on Longevity”, Gampe (2010) found a plateau of mortality — which is implied in a logistic model — at ages 110 and above. In her study, Gampe pursued a nonparametric approach. Hence this plateau was not the consequence of forcing a certain parametric shape of the mortality trajectory. Gampe estimated a level of the force of mortality of about µ(110+) = 0.7, corresponding to a probability of dying of approximately 0.5. Gampe’s results strengthened the initial findings that were reported at the “Living to 100” conference in 2005 (Robine et al., 2005). Our research question can be expressed simply as: Can we find support for this upper limit of the force of mortality of 0.7, i.e. the chance to survive another year is approximately the chance of tossing a fair coin?

Keywords: adult mortality, mathematical models, statistical analysis
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.