Mortality Convergence between East and West Germany - The Elderly Made the Difference

Robert Beise, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research

Following unification, the life expectancy in East Germany started to increase immediately after years of stagnation. Within a decade the 2.5 years gap to West Germany was closed for females and strongly narrowed for males. Our analysis show that mortality improvements beyond age 60 are most important for the narrowing of the life expectancy differences between East and West Germany. For females 80% and for males 60% of reduction of gap were caused by mortality reduction in ages beyond 60 years. If there had been no improvements in old and oldest old mortality after 1989 there would be still a huge gap females and males.

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Presented in Poster Session 6