Journal Article

Sterblichkeitsentwicklung in Deutschland im internationalen Kontext

Grigoriev, P., Sauerberg, M., Jasilionis, D., van Raalte, A. A., Klüsener, S.
Mortality trends in Germany in an international context
Bundesgesundheitsblatt - Gesundheitsforschung - Gesundheitsschutz , 1–11 (2024)
Open Access


Background and aim: Due to its strong economy and a well-developed healthcare system, Germany is well positioned to achieve above-average reductions in mortality. Nevertheless, in terms of life expectancy, Germany is increasingly falling behind Western Europe. We compare mortality trends in Germany with other Western European countries, covering the period from 1960 to 2019. The focus is on long-term trends in Germany’s ranking in international mortality trends. In addition, we conduct a detailed mortality analysis by age.
Methods: Our analysis is mostly based on mortality data from the Human Mortality Database (HMD). Cause-specific mortality data originate from the database of the World Health Organization (WHO). For the international comparison of mortality trends, we use conventional mortality indicators (age-standardized mortality rate, period life expectancy).
Results: Compared to other Western European countries, Germany has higher mortality in the middle and older age groups. Germany’s life expectancy gap compared to Western Europe has grown during the past 20 years. In 2000, Germany was 0.73 years behind for men and 0.74 years behind for women. By 2019, these figures had risen to 1.43 and 1.34 years, respectively. This is mainly due to mortality from non-communicable diseases.
Conclusion: For Germany to catch up with other Western European countries, a stronger focus on further reducing mortality at ages 50+ is crucial. This also requires further research to understand the factors behind Germany’s disadvantageous position.

Keywords: Germany, longevity, mortality trends
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.