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life table

  A table showing the probability of surviving from one age to any subsequent age, according to the age-specific death rates prevailing at a particular time and place (cf. mortality). It may be assumed for the purposes of calculation, for example, that 100,000 babies are all born on the same day, and the experience of this cohort is followed until its last surviving member dies: the summary of that experience is the life table. Life tables were first compiled for actuarial purposes in order to calculate for each age group the possibility of dying, the number of deaths, the number of survivors, and the average life expectancy of the latter, as a basis for life assurance premiums. They may also be used as structural models for studying population growth (see stable population) and projections (see population projection) and as a summary of mortality experiences in different countries or regions. (PEO)

Suggested Reading Plane, D.A. and Rogerson, P.A. 1994: The geographical analysis of population. New York and Chichester: John Wiley, ch. 3. Woods, R.I. 1979: Population analysis in geography. London and New York: Longman, ch. 3.



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