Evaluation of small-area estimation methods for mortality schedules

Denecke, E. D., Grigoriev, P., Rau, R.
arXiv e-prints 2302.01693
42 pages.
submitted on: 03 February 2023 (version 1); last revised: 17 March 2023 (version 2) (2023), unpublished
Open Access


Mortality patterns at a subnational level or across subpopulations are often used to examine the health of a population. In small populations, however, death counts are erratic. To deal with this problem, demographers have proposed different methods but it is unclear how these methods relate to each other. We aim to provide guidance. First, we review recent demographic small-area methods for mortality schedules. Second, we evaluate three methodological approaches using simulated data. We show that there is considerable variability in the performance across ages and subpopulations/regions and that this performance can depend on the choice of incorporated demographic knowledge.

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.