BACKGROUND The long-term historical decline in infant mortality has been accompanied by increasing concentration of infant deaths at the earliest stages of infancy. In the mid-1960s Coale and Demeny developed formulas describing the dependency of the average age of death in infancy on the level of infant mortality, based on data obtained up to that time. OBJECTIVE In the more developed countries a steady rise in average age of infant death began in the mid-1960s. This paper documents this phenomenon and offers alternative formulas for calculation of the average age of death, taking into account the new mortality trends. METHODS Standard statistical methodologies and a specially developed method are applied to the linked individual birth and infant death datasets available from the US National Center for Health Statistics and the initial (raw) numbers of deaths from the Human Mortality Database. RESULTS It is demonstrated that the trend of decline in the average age of infant death becomes interrupted when the infant mortality rate attains a level around 10 per 1000, and modifications of the Coale-Demeny formulas for practical application to contemporary low levels of mortality are offered.
vCONCLUSIONS The average age of death in infancy is an important characteristic of infant mortality, although it does not influence the magnitude of life expectancy. That the increase in average age of death in infancy is connected with medical advances is proposed as a possible explanation.
Background: An expanding literature documents the childbearing patterns of migrants and their descendants in contemporary Europe. The existing evidence pertains mainly to the northern, western, and southern regions of the continent, while less is known about the fertility of migrants who have moved between the countries of Eastern Europe.
Objective: The aim of this study is to examine the fertility patterns of first- and second-generation Russians in Estonia, relative to the sending and host populations.
Methods: The study draws on the Estonian and Russian Generations and Gender Surveys. Proportional hazards models are estimated for the transitions to first, second, and third births.
Results: Russian migrants in Estonia exhibit greater similarity to the sending population, with a lower propensity for having a second and third birth than the host population. This pattern extends to the descendants of migrants. However, mixed Estonian-Russian parentage, enrolment in Estonian-language schools, and residence among the host population are associated with the convergence of Russians’ childbearing behaviour with the host-country patterns. The findings support the cultural maintenance and adaptation perspectives; selectivity was found to be less important.
Contribution: The study focuses on a previously under-researched context and underscores the importance of contextual factors in shaping migrants’ fertility patterns. It raises the possibility that, depending on the childbearing trends and levels among the sending and receiving populations, large-scale migration may reduce rather than increase aggregate fertility in the host country. With the advancement of the fertility transition in sending countries, this situation may become more common in Europe in the future.
After a long decline, life expectancy in Russia substantially increased in 2004-2010; this is the longest period of health improvement that has been observed in the country since 1965. This study is the first analysis of this positive trend.
We seek to determine the causes and age groups that account for the additional years of life gained in 2004-10 and the remaining gap between Russia and Western countries, to assess to what extent these recent trends represent a new development relative to previous mortality fluctuations, and to identify possible explanations for the improvement.
We present an analysis of trends in life expectancy, and in age- and cause-specific mortality in Russia and selected countries in Eastern and Western Europe. We use decomposition techniques to examine the life expectancy rise in 2004-2010 and the Russia-UK life expectancy gap in 2010.
Like the previous mortality fluctuations that have occurred in Russia since the mid-1980s, the increase in life expectancy was driven by deaths at ages 15 to 60 from alcohol-related causes. Uniquely in the recent period, there were also improvements at older ages, especially in cerebrovascular disease mortality among women. In addition, there were reductions in deaths from avoidable causes, such as from tuberculosis and diabetes. The life expectancy gap between Russia and Western countries remains large, and is mostly attributable to deaths from cardiovascular disease, alcohol-related conditions, and violence.
The decrease in alcohol-related mortality may be attributable to measures taken in 2006 to control the production and sale of ethanol. The lower number of cerebrovascular-related deaths may reflect advancements in blood pressure control. The reduction in the number of deaths from tuberculosis and diabetes may be associated with a general improvement in health care. Although the decline in mortality since 2004 has been substantial, the question of whether it can be sustained remains open.
Background: Creating visualizations that include multiple dimensions of the data while preserving spatial structure and readability is challenging. Here we demonstrate the use of geofaceting to meet this challenge.
Objective: Using data on young adult mortality in the 32 Mexican states from 1990 to 2015, we demonstrate how aligning small multiples for territorial units, often regions, according to their approximate geographical location – geofaceting – can be used to depict complex multi-dimensional phenomena.
Methods: The idea is to align small-multiples for territorial units, often regions, according to approximate geographical location. We illustrate the technique using data on young adult mortality in the 32 Mexican states from 1990 to 2015.
Results: Geofaceting reveals the macro-level spatial pattern while preserving the ﬂexibility of choosing any visualization techniques for the small multiples. Creating geofaceted visualizations gives all the advantages of standard plots in which one can adequately display multiple dimensions of a dataset.
Contribution: Compared to other ways of small-multiples' arrangement, geofaceting improves the speed of regions' identification and exposes the broad spatial pattern.
Across the industrialized world, more couples are living together without marrying. Although researchers have compared cohabitation cross-nationally using quantitative data, few have compared union formation using qualitative data. OBJECTIVE We use focus group research to compare social norms of cohabitation and marriage in Australia and nine countries in Europe. We explore questions such as: what is the meaning of cohabitation? To what extent is cohabitation indistinguishable from marriage, a prelude to marriage, or an alternative to being single? Are the meanings of cohabitation similar across countries?
We intend to highlight gender and educational differences in perceptions of the advantages and disadvantages of cohabitation vs marriages. We conducted 8 focus groups in Moscow in January 2012 (4 with men, 4 with women, half with higher educated, the other half with lower educated). Trust between men and women was claimed by participants to underly the preferences for marriage or cohabitation. Religious beliefs of participants form a ‘three stages of union’ theory, expressed by them: cohabitation in the beginning, civil marriage later when trust becomes stronger, and finally a church wedding when trust becomes the highest. Values of responsibility, freedom, fidelity and trust form participants’ expressed ideals in union formation. The highest level of trust is stated to be highest in proponents of marriage and in ideational cohabitors. People without strong type of union preferences claim to have lowest level of interpersonal trust.