Human Mortality Database

Dmitri A. Jdanov, National Research University Higher School of Economics

The Human Mortality Database (HMD, www.mortality.org) is the world´s leading data resource on mortality in developed countries. This unique open-access collection provides detailed mortality and population data for 39 countries with relatively complete and reliable vital registration and census data. It is a collaborative project by the Department of Demography at the University of California at Berkeley (USA) and the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock (Germany). The main goal of the HMD is to document the longevity revolution of the modern era and to facilitate research into its causes and consequences by providing high quality data to researchers, students, journalists, policy analysts, and others interested in the history of human longevity.

All data series in the HMD are updated on a rolling basis. There are plans to add several more countries to this collection over the next few years. However, one of the main principles of the HMD is to include only countries with reliable population statistics, especially in terms of the coverage of both vital registration and the census. The HMD has more than 45,000 registered users and has been cited in over 2,800 peer-reviewed scientific publications. The average number of citations has reached 200 per year.

The main advantage of the HMD is that all parts of the output data are obtained using a uniform methodology for estimating mortality and length-of-life measures that includes only validated techniques for the evaluation of data quality and the harmonization of data series. Thus, HMD data are comparable across time and space. All data series are provided together with detailed country-specific documentation, including a detailed overview of data sources and specific data problems.

More details about the HMD project can be found in (Barbieri et al., 2015)


Presented in Session 1238: Data and Methods