Fixing the Mortality Tables in Colorado
Oct. 18, 2010
By Jerry Kopel
or "life expectancy" tables in CRS 13-25-102 and 103 are a dozen years out
of place (use of life expectancy as of 1998).
Also 13-25-103 numbers are false numbers. They are based on a continuing
"compromise" taking years of life away from women and giving a false boost
to male longevity. Giving incorrect information goes back to the original
mortality table of 1893. Whoever decides to re-do this statute in 2011 can
use separate expectancy numbers for male and female..
Each year it becomes
possible to break down yearly life tables into smaller entities. The
tables come from the National Center for Health Statistics in Atlanta, GA,
based on today's health risk and demographics.
Mortality tables help
determine premium costs for life insurance and are also as a start in
litigation. Courts and the statute recognize the tables are not conclusive
evidence, just a starting point along with other evidence as to your
heath, habits and occupation.
A period life table is
based on the mortality experience of a population during a relative short
period of time. The example used is the 2006 table for the Social Security
population. It presents a "snap-shot" of a given age remaining if a group
of persons at that age were to experience the mortality rates for 2006
over the course of their remaining life. The table includes every year,
not just decades shown below.
||Life expectancy added
present exact age
Notice the longer you live the less difference there is between male and
female total years.
Looking at the table used in 1893, the first age
used was 10. That may have been because life expectancy for babies and the
very young wasn't as good as it is with today's medical care and
Chief sponsor should have legislative staff seek
out the most complete male-female data available for each year. The Center
For Disease Control shows life expectancy at birth by race and sex in the
U.S. in 2006:
Female hispanic, 83.1; white, 80.4; black, 76.2.
Male hispanic, 77.9; white, 75.6; black, 69.2.
The Wall Street
Journal warns that assimilation of the 15 percent of population that
is hispanic could reduce any higher life totals as bad health habits take
(Jerry Kopel served 22 years in the Colorado