NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Mortality Inequality in Canada and the U.S.: Divergent or Convergent Trends?

Michael Baker, Janet Currie, Hannes Schwandt

NBER Working Paper No. 23514
Issued in June 2017
NBER Program(s):Aging, Children, Health Care, Health Economics

Mortality is a crucial dimension of wellbeing and inequality in a population, and mortality trends have been at the core of public debates in many Western countries. In this paper, we provide the first analysis of mortality inequality in Canada and compare its development to trends in the U.S. We find strong reductions in mortality rates across both genders and at all ages, with the exception of middle ages which only experienced moderate improvements. Inequality in mortality, measured across Canadian Census Divisions, decreased for infants and small children, while it increased slightly at higher ages. In comparison to the U.S., mortality levels in Canada improved at a similar rate despite lower initial levels. Inequality at younger ges, however, fell more strongly in the U.S., implying converging mortality gradients between the two countries.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w23514

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