A Decomposition of Life Expectancy and Life Disparity: Comparison Between Hong Kong and Japan

Document Type: Original Article

Authors

1 Department of Social Work and Social Administration, Faculty of Social Sciences, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China

2 Center for Demographic Research, Université catholique de Louvain, Ottignies-Louvainla-Neuve, Belgium

3 HKJC Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China

Abstract

Background
Life expectancy and life disparity are 2 useful indicators to assess the health condition of a society. Both Hong Kong and Japan have one of the longest life expectancies in the world. Recently, Hong Kong has overtaken Japan and topped the life expectancy rankings. However, whether Hong Kong has also outperformed Japan in life disparity is still unknown.

 
Methods
Decomposition analyses have been conducted to evaluate age-specific contributions to the changes in life expectancy and life disparity for each of the populations. Furthermore, the differences between the 2 populations were examined over the period 1977-2016.

 
Results
Reduction in mortality of the adult and the old age groups contributes most to the increase in life expectancy for the study period. Hong Kong has a higher life disparity than Japan, and due to the great improvement in reducing premature deaths, the Hong Kong-Japan gap has been narrowing. However, in recent years, further reduction in mortality of the oldest elderly in Hong Kong has actually contributed to the increase in its disparity, thus widening its gap with Japan again.

 
Conclusion
Increasing dominant influence of “saving lives at late ages” is very likely to cause the reemergence of increasing life disparity in these 2 long-lived populations.

Highlights

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Keywords


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