Tracking progress in mean longevity: The Lagged Cohort Life Expectancy (LCLE) approach

Tracking progress in mean longevity: The Lagged Cohort Life Expectancy (LCLE) approach

Cohort life expectancy is an important but rarely used indicator of mean longevity. In this paper, we show that there are specific advantages in lagging this indicator in time by its own value, an approach termed Lagged Cohort Life Expectancy (LCLE). We discuss the usefulness of LCLE as an indicator for tracking progress in mean longevity and introduce a new interpretation of LCLE as a reference age separating ‘early’ deaths from ‘late’ deaths, or, equivalently, as the age above which individuals in a population can be considered ‘above-average’ survivors. Using data from 15 countries in the Human Mortality Database, we show that current LCLE can be estimated with a relatively high degree of certainty, at least in these low-mortality populations. Results shed new light on levels and trends in mean longevity in these populations.

Collin Payne is a lecturer at the School of Demography, whose work examines global trends in health, disability, and mortality. His primary substantive focus is on low- and middle-income contexts, where his work examines the interrelations between physical, mental, and cognitive health, behavioural responses to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa, and the impacts of health on the intergenerational economy. His current methodological work focuses on strategies for estimating cohort changes in disability-free life expectancy in the absence of continuous surveillance, and using direct standardisation (G-methods) to implement causal multistate life table models.

Date & time

Tue 17 Sep 2019, 11.30am–12.30pm


Jean Martin Room, Beryl Rawson Bldg #13, Ellery Circuit, ANU


Dr Collin Payne, School of Demography, ANU


Susan Cowan


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