Skip to main content Accessibility help


  • Akansha Singh (a1) and Laishram Ladusingh (a1)


Early life disparity – defined as the average life years lost due to death by the age of 60 years – can be used to assess more systematically the effect of savings from death at a young age. In addition, it can give valuable insight into the consequences of death in the early stages of life. Early life disparity can further be categorized into child life disparity (0–14 years) and adult life disparity (15–60 years). This study estimated early life disparity using complete life tables for the period 1970–1975 to 2006–2010, which were constructed from abridged life tables and death rates provided by the Sample Registration System (SRS) in India. The contribution of premature deaths to the difference in life disparity was estimated using a replacement algorithm. The findings clearly indicated an overall declining trend in early life disparity in India, with a notable reduction in child life disparity, and a deceleration of adult life disparity during the period 1970–1975 to 2006–2010. Interstate variations in early life disparity were seen to converge with time. Decomposition analysis suggested that these variations could be minimized further by averting death during childhood.


Corresponding author

1 Corresponding author. Email:


Hide All
Andreev, E. M., Shkolnikov, V. M. & Begun, A. Z. (2002) Algorithm for decomposition of differences between aggregate demographic measures and its application to life expectancies, healthy life expectancies, parity-progression ratios and total fertility rates. Demographic Research 7, 499522.
Bhat, M. P. N. (2002) Completeness of India’s sample registration system: an assessment using the general growth-balance method. Population Studies 56, 119134.
Chaurasia, A. R. (2010) Mortality transition in India 1970–2005. Asian Population Studies 6, 4768.
Dandekar, K. (1972) Mortality and longevity in India, 1901–1961. Economic and Political Weekly 7, 889892.
Edwards, R. D. & Tuljapurkar, S. (2005) Inequality in life spans and a new perspective on mortality convergence across industrialised countries. Population Development Review 31(4), 645674.
Engelman, M., Caswell, H. & Agree, E. M. (2014) Why do lifespan variability trends for the young and old diverge? A perturbation analysis. Demographic Research 30, 13671396.
Heligman, L. & Pollard, J. H. (1980) The age pattern of mortality. Journal of the Institute of Actuaries 107, 4980.
Indrayan, A., Wysocki, M. J., Chawla, A., Kumar, R. & Singh, N. (1999) 3-decade trend in human development index in India and its major states. Social Indicators Research 46, 91120.
Jha, P. & Laxminarayan, R. (2009) Choosing Health: An Entitlement for all Indians. Centre for Global Health Research, Toronto.
Mathers, C. D., Fat, D. M., Inoue, M., Rao, C. & Lopez, A. D. (2005) Counting the dead and what they die from: an assessment of the global status of cause of death data. Bulletin of the World Health Organization 83, 171177.
Moser, K., Shkolnikov, V. M. & Leon, D. A. (2005) World mortality 1950–2000: divergence replaces convergence from the late 1980s. Bulletin of the World Health Organization 83, 202209.
National Commission on Population (2001) Report of the Working Group on Registration of Births, Deaths, and Marriages. National Commission on Population, New Delhi.
NIMS, ICMR & UNICEF (2012) Infant and Child Mortality in India: Levels, Trends and Determinants. National Institute for Medical Statistics (NIMS), Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), and UNICEF, India Country Office, New Delhi.
ORG (Office of the Registrar General) (1984) SRS Based Abridged Life Tables 1970–1975. Census of India 1981, Occasional Papers No. 1 of 1984. Office of the Registrar General, New Delhi.
ORG (1985) SRS Based Abridged Life Tables 1976–1980. Census of India 1981, Occasional Papers No. 1 of 1985. Office of the Registrar General, New Delhi.
ORG (1989) SRS Based Abridged Life Tables 19811985. Census of India 1981, Occasional Papers No. 1 of 1989. Office of the Registrar General, New Delhi.
Ponnapalli, K. M. (2008) A re-look at the methods for decomposing the difference between two life expectancies at birth. Sankhya: The Indian Journal of Statistics 70–B, 283309.
Ram, U., Jha, P., Ram, F., Kumar, K., Awasthi, S., Shet, A. et al. (2013) Neonatal, 1–59 month, and under-5 mortality in 597 Indian districts, 2001 to 2012: estimates from national demographic and mortality surveys. Lancet Global Health 1, e219e226.
Rajaratnam, J. K., Marcus, J. R., Levin-Rector, A., Chalupka, A. N., Wang, H., Dwyer, L. et al. (2010) Worldwide mortality in men and women aged 15–59 years from 1970 to 2010: a systematic analysis. Lancet 375, 17041720.
Reddy, K. S., Shah, B., Varghese, C. & Ramadoss, A. (2005) Responding to the threat of chronic diseases in India. Lancet 366, 17441749.
RGI (Registrar General of India). (1994) SRS Based Abridged Life Tables 1986–1990. SRS Analytical Studies Report Series, Occasional Papers No. 1 of 1994. Registrar General of India, New Delhi.
RGI (1996–2010) Sample Registration System Statistical Reports. Registrar General of India, New Delhi.
RGI (1998) SRS Based Abridged Life Tables 19911995. SRS Analytical Studies Report No. 1 of 1998. Registrar General of India, New Delhi.
RGI (2006) Sample Registration System, Maternal Mortality in India: 19972003: Trends, Causes and Risk Factors. Registrar General of India, New Delhi.
RGI (2012) SRS Based Abridged Life Tables 20062010. Registrar General of India, New Delhi.
Roy, T. K. & Lahiri, S. (1988) Recent levels and trends in mortality in India and its major states: an analysis based on SRS data. In Srinivasan, K. & Mukerji, S. (eds) Dynamics of Population and Family Welfare 1987. Himalaya Publishing House, Mumbai, pp. 279349.
Saikia, N., Jasilionis, D., Ram, F. & Shkolnikov, V. (2011) Trends and geographic differentials in mortality under age 60 in India. Population Studies 65, 7389.
Saikia, N., Singh, A. & Ram, F. (2010) Has child mortality in India really increased in the last two decades? Economic and Political Weekly XLV, 6270.
Saikia, N., Singh, A. & Ram, F. (2013) Adult male mortality in India: an application of the widowhood method. Asian Population Studies doi: 10.1080/17441730.2013.785720.
Shkolnikov, V. M. & Andreev, E. M. (2010) Age-Decomposition of a Difference Between Two Populations for any Life-Table Quantity in Excel. MPIDR Technical Report 2010–002, May 2010.
Shkolnikov, V. M., Andreev, E. M. & Begun, A. Z. (2003) Gini coefficient as a life table function: computation from discrete data, decomposition of differences and empirical examples. Demographic Research 8, 305358.
Shkolnikov, V. M., Andreev, E. M., Zhang, Z., Oeppen, J. & Vaupel, J. W. (2011) Losses of expected lifetime in the United States and other developed countries: methods and empirical analyses. Demography 48, 211239.
Singh, A. & Ladusingh, L. (2013) Increasing life expectancy and convergence of age at death in India. Genus LXIX, 8399.
Smits, J. & Monden, C. (2009) Length of life inequality around the globe. Social Science & Medicine 68, 11141123.
Subramanian, S. V., Shailen, N., Irving, M., Gordon, D., Lambert, H. & Smith, G. D. (2006) The mortality divide in India: the differential contributions of gender, caste, and standard of living across the life course. American Journal of Public Health 96, 818825.
Van Raalte, A. A., Martikainen, P. & Myrskyla, M. (2014) Lifespan variation by occupational class: compression or stagnation over time? Demography 51, 7395.
Vaupel, J. W., Zhang, Z. & Van Raalte, A. A. (2011) Life expectancy and disparity: an international comparison of life table data. BMJ Open, doi: 10.1136/bmjopen–2011–000128.
Wilmoth, J. R. & Horiuchi, S. (1999) Rectangularization revisited: variability of age at death within human populations. Demography 36, 475495.
WHO (2008) Investing in Maternal, Newborn and Child Health – The Case for Asia and the Pacific. World Health Organization, Geneva.
Zhang, Z. & Vaupel, J. W. (2009) The age separating early deaths from late deaths. Demographic Research 20, 721730.

Related content

Powered by UNSILO


  • Akansha Singh (a1) and Laishram Ladusingh (a1)


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.