The Changing Sex Differential in Mortality

The Changing Sex Differential in Mortality

The Changing Sex Differential in Mortality

The Changing Sex Differential in Mortality

Synopsis

A report on a rigorous statistical investigation of current trends in the difference between male and female mortality in the Western world....it is likely to become a seminal contribution to this important area. -Library Journal

Excerpt

Of all changes in the world since 1750, one of the most consequential is the drastic and unprecedented fall in human mortality. The average length of life in Western countries has more than doubled, going from around 35 years to around 73. A similar change has occurred more recently and more quickly in the less developed regions. Without this spectacular improvement, many other major transformations would not have occurred. The high level of urbanization and the explosive growth of world population, for example, would both have been impossible. Indeed, it is hard to imagine modern society without the low mortality that influences every aspect of it.

In view of its importance in modern history, our research office has sponsored several investigations of mortality changes and their effects. Two of these were by Dr. Eduardo E. Arriaga-- New Life Tables for Latin American Populations in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (1968) and Mortality Decline and Its Demographic Effects in Latin America (1970); and one was by Dr. Samuel H. Preston--Older Male Mortality and Cigarette Smoking (1970). Now we are happy to add to our Population Monograph Series still another study of human mortality sponsored by IPUR--this one by Dr. Robert D. Retherford.

Dr. Retherford has tackled a facet of the precipitous mortality decline that has aroused the curiosity of everybody who has thought about it but which has seldom been seriously investigated. This is the widening disparity in survival between men and women. In Sweden in the latter half of the eighteenth century . . .

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