Journal Article

Regional inequalities in mortality in Brazil: age and causes of death contributions to changes in life expectancy and lifespan variation between 2008 and 2018

Almeida Calazans, J., Guimarães, R., Nepomuceno, M. R.
Revista Brasileira de Estudos de População (2023), forthcoming
Open Access


Brazil is a country marked by substantial socioeconomic inequality among its regions, leading to regional differentials in mortality. To better understand these disparities, it is important to analyze not only average mortality levels, but also the variation in age at death. This article analyzes cause-of-death contributions to changes in life expectancy and age-at-death variation in Brazil and its regions between 2008 and 2018. Our findings suggest an increase in regional inequalities in life expectancy over the decade. However, regional differences in age-at-death variation remained nearly constant. The impact of various causes of death on age-at-death variation varied across regions. In the South and Southeast regions, a reduction in mortality from external causes substantially contributed to decreasing the variation in age at death. In contrast, the Northeast region saw a substantive contribution from deaths due to conditions originating in the perinatal period. In conclusion, this study reaffirms the importance of considering lifespan inequality indicators to gain a comprehensive understanding of regional mortality differentials in Brazil.

Keywords: Brazil, causes of death, differential mortality, inequality
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.