Analysing changes in population health through the lens of lifespan inequalities


Principal Investigator: Jose Manuel Aburto

Associate Researcher: Ridhi Kashyap


Most countries experienced major increases in life expectancy in the second half of the 20th century. This progress has meant that people are living longer on average and, at the same time, ages at death have become compressed to a narrow band of ages within populations. In other words, ages at death have become more similar, or lifespan inequality has decreased as populations live longer. Recent trends in several countries however indicate that continued improvements in longevity are not inevitable, with stalls in life expectancy occurring in some low mortality countries, such as the UK, and increasing premature mortality resulting from violence in contexts such as Latin America. These recent dynamics indicate increasing complexity underpinning population health improvements and highlight the need to analyse population health through the lens of lifespan inequality.

This project (1) develops new methodologies to better measure lifespan inequality and its dynamics over time, (2) analyses recent trends in levels and sex differences in lifespan inequality in low mortality countries, including the UK, to investigate if similar ages and causes of death underpin increasing lifespan inequality and changing patterns of sex differences across different countries, and (3) measures the contribution of violent deaths to lifespan inequality in contexts with high violence.