Age-specific mortality rates

Reading the graph

This graph presents the age- and sex-specific probabilities of dying during the year in metropolitan France, i.e. the mortality rates for males and females at each age.
The share of deaths at each age from 0 to 100 is estimated from the death registers, and the population of each age from census data.
The estimates for three successive years - in this case 2002 to 2004 - are averaged to ensure sufficient accuracy, notably at young ages when deaths are very rare.
The probabilities of dying vary between 0 and 1 for each individual, and are presented here "per 10,000" population. As variations with age are enormous (from 1 death per 10,000 at age 10 to 1 per 10 at age 85) a logarithmic scale is used. The vertical distance expresses the ratio (and not the difference) between the two values. For example, the y-coordinates 1 and 10 are the same distance apart as 10 and 100.


The mortality rate is very low during childhood, then increases exponentially from age 30; it is lower for females at all ages

During the first year of life, the mortality rate is nowadays very low - around 40 per 10,000 - and most deaths before age one occur shortly after birth. The annual rate is very low for children, with only one child in 10,000 dying each year between the ages of 5 and 10. It increases sharply in adolescence, reaching 3 per 10,000 for girls and 8 per 10,000 for boys.
The mortality rate remains stable in early adulthood, increasing very little up to age 30. It stands at 4 and 11 per 10,000 for women and men respectively. It then increases exponentially with age, by around 8 per 100 each year, doubling every 9 years. From age 90, rates are difficult to estimate since the ages reported by very old people in the census tend to be inaccurate.
At all ages, males have a higher mortality rate than females. Male excess mortality peaks at around age 20, when the probability of dying is three times higher for men than for women of the same age.


The data in this graph are taken from The French demographic situation in 2004 published by INSEE. They are available on the INSEE and INED websites
The INED website gives life tables for the years 1806 to 1997, with a projection up to 2012:

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Last update : December 28 2010