Latin America Convergence and Divergence Towards the Mortality Profiles of Developed Countries

Jesús-Adrian Alvarez, Max Planck Research Center on the Biodemography of Aging
Vladimir Canudas-Romo, School of Demography, Australian National University

During the twentieth century, a major decline in mortality took place all around the world, mirrored in the outstanding raise of the world life expectancy at birth. Despite the fact that developing countries suffered less improvements, it seemed that the mortality gap between the developed and the developing world has gradually narrowed. However, during the last decades, reversals in life expectancy have taken place in some Latin American and the Caribbean countries (LAC). In addition, the differences of the age at death variability prevailing in the region have not been researched to a large extent. Thus, it is not well known whether the mortality gap between the developed countries and those in the LAC region, has indeed shortened or not.

This investigation sheds light on the convergence between Latin American mortality regimes and the ones portrayed by developed countries. This issue is addressed by analysing differences in lifespans' variability between both regions over the last 15 years. Likewise, we investigate the role that amenable diseases to health care have had in the convergence of mortality regimes. Findings show that the LAC region is very heterogeneous when it comes to mortality. Countries like Haiti and Bolivia exhibit divergent trends but some others like Chile, Argentina and Cuba have shown similar patterns to the ones prevailing in the developed world.

Presented in Poster Session 3