Literature Review of Long-Term Mortality Projections

by Hilary Waldron
Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 66 No. 1, 2005
Table equivalent for Chart 1. Difference between past Social Security Trustees' forecasts of life expectancy and actual life expectancy for males and females, 2000 (predicted minus actual life expectancy)
Year Male Female
At age 65 in 2000 At birth in 2000 At age 65 in 2000 At birth in 2000
1952 -1.8 -2.6 -3.0 -3.9
1953 -- -- -- --
1954 -- -- -- --
1955 -- -- -- --
1956 -- -- -- --
1957 -0.8 -2.6 -1.4 -2.3
1958 -- -- -- --
1959 -- -- -- --
1960 -- -- -- --
1961 -- -- -- --
1962 -- -- -- --
1963 -- -- -- --
1964 -- -- -- --
1965 -- -- -- --
1966 -1.5 -3.7 -2.2 -3.0
1967 -- -- -- --
1968 -- -- -- --
1969 -- -- -- --
1970 -- -- -- --
1971 -- -- -- --
1972 -- -- -- --
1973 -- -- -- --
1974 -2.2 -5.0 -0.8 -2.5
1975 -- -- -- --
1976 -- -- -- --
1977 -1.2 -3.7 0.0 -1.4
1978 -1.2 -3.7 0.0 -1.4
1980 -0.3 -1.2 2.3 1.8
1981 0.0 -1.1 2.2 1.7
1983 -0.1 -0.6 1.9 1.6
1984 -0.1 -0.3 1.9 1.7
1985 0.0 -0.1 1.8 1.8
1986 -0.2 -0.1 1.4 1.6
1987 -0.2 -0.1 1.2 1.4
1988 -0.1 -1.8 0.9 0.8
1989 -0.2 -1.3 0.7 0.7
1990 -0.2 -1.4 0.6 0.5
1991 0.1 -1.1 0.7 0.5
1992 -0.5 -1.4 0.4 0.3
1993 -0.4 -1.4 0.5 0.3
1994 -0.2 -1.0 0.5 0.3
1995 -0.3 -1.1 0.4 0.3
1996 0.1 -0.1 0.6 0.8
1997 0.0 -0.8 0.4 0.3
1998 0.0 -0.5 0.4 0.2
1999 0.0 -0.2 0.3 0.2
2000 0.1 -0.1 0.3 0.2
SOURCES: Based on the concept established by S. Jay Olshansky, "On Forecasting Mortality," The Milbank Quarterly 66(3): 489–498, Table 1 and Figures 1–4 (1988). Data for 1952–1987 are from Olshansky (1988). Data for 1988—2000 are from the Social Security Administration's Office of the Chief Actuary, available at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/OACT/TR/index.html. Differences between predicted and actual life expectancy are author's calculations.
NOTE: -- = not available.
Table equivalent for Chart 3. Projections of maximum unisex average life expectancy, calculated using various historical time periods
Historical time period Life expectancy (years of age)
1900–1976 81.1
1900–1986 82.0
1950–1976 86.4
1950–1986 86.8
1956–1976 89.1
1966–1976 88.4
1966–1986 86.7
1976–1986 84.9
SOURCE: James F. Fries, "The Compression of Morbidity: Near or Far?" The Milbank Quarterly 67(2): 223, Table 3 (1989).