MPIDR Working Paper

Multistate analysis and decomposition of disability-free life expectancy trends in Italy 2004-2019

Moretti, M., Riffe, T., Lorenti, A.
MPIDR Working Paper WP-2023-030, 36 pages.
Rostock, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (July 2023)
Open Access


Italy has witnessed increases in life expectancy and severe population ageing, raising concerns about their impact on population health. Disability status greatly affects the participation of older adults in various aspects of life. This study examines the long-term trend of disability-free life expectancy (DFLE) in Italy and explores the drivers in terms of disability onset and recovery dynamics, as well as changes in disability-specific mortality. By using IT-SILC longitudinal data (2004-2019), transition probabilities and DFLE between ages 50 and 79 are calculated, and the drivers of DFLE evolution are analysed through decomposition. DFLE among mid-to-older Italians has progressed overall over the last decades, albeit not as favourably as life expectancy. The trends indicate compression of disability in recent years. Changes in disability transitions have the greatest influence on DFLE patterns, while less the changes in disability-specific mortality. The greatest contributions come from increases in the probability of recovery from disability. 

Keywords: Italy, ageing, demographic models, disability
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.