Forecasts of life expectancy (LE) have fuelled debates about the sustainability and dependability of pension and healthcare systems. Of relevance to these debates are inequalities in LE by education. In this paper, we present a method of forecasting LE for different educational groups within a population. As a basic framework we use the Li–Lee model that was developed to forecast mortality coherently for different groups. We adapted this model to distinguish between overall, sex-specific, and education-specific trends in mortality, and extrapolated these time trends in a flexible manner. We illustrate our method for the population aged 65 and over in the Netherlands, using several data sources and spanning different periods. The results suggest that LE is likely to increase for all educational groups, but that differences in LE between educational groups will widen. Sensitivity analyses illustrate the advantages of our proposed method.

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Population Studies
Erasmus University Rotterdam

van Baal, P., Peters, F., Mackenbach, J., & Nusselder, W. (2016). Forecasting differences in life expectancy by education. Population Studies, 70(2), 201–216. doi:10.1080/00324728.2016.1159718