IUSSP Seminar on Mortality Analysis:
Past, Present and Future

Campinas, Brazil, 7-9 August 2017 

Organized by the IUSSP Scientific Panel on Lifespan Extension with Varying Cause-of-death Trajectories, in collaboration with the University of Campinas, University of Minas Gerais, University of Rio Grande do Norte, Max Planck Odense Center, and the Australian National University.

Organizing Committee: 

  • Luciana Alves (University of Campinas)
  • Laeticia De Souza (University of Campinas)
  • Marcos Gonzaga (University of Rio Grande do Norte) 
  • Bernardo Queiroz (University of Minas Gerais)
  • Everton Lima (University of Campinas) 
  • Vladimir Canudas-Romo (Max-Planck Odense Center). 


The International Seminar on Mortality Analysis: Past, Present and Future was held at the University of Campinas, Brazil, 7-9 August 2017. The meeting benefited from the generous support of the Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation and of the University of Campinas. International attendants from Africa, North and South America and Europe also contributed with their own travel funds.


The scientific programme consisted in 17 presentations in regular sessions. A total of 60 participants attended the meeting, including demographers and other population scientists from Argentina, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Mexico, Venezuela, Romania, South Africa, Surinam, the United States as well as a strong representation of researchers from a variety of Brazilian institutions. The third day of the meeting was devoted to providing hands-on training in R on mortality analysis to PhD students attending the seminar.



Topics covered during the seminar focused on: mortality modeling at infancy and adult ages in regions with deficient data; mortality comparisons between educational groups and urban-rural locations; analysis of information from military and pensioner groups; mortality by causes with a particular focus on external causes of death in the region; mortality forecasting modeling and visualization tools. 


The seminar highlighted issues that are still pending on the region’s research agenda and in demography in general. For example, the discrepancies existing between institutions in the region providing country specific data, and in particularly the lack of consistency between UN life expectancy trends and those published as official statistics by countries themselves. Other intriguing cases of data omissions included work on external mortality, not-well-defined in the vital registers between homicides, suicides or accidents, which researchers tend to omit. The adaptation of relational life table models for the first years of life, or for regions with deficient data, were also a key element of the discussion. Old and new stronger methodologies of forecasting for the region and sub-region were highlighted as important elements as well.


In addition to the presentations and the feedback and debates and inspiration for future research, the seminar helped to initiate the conversation on having these types of seminars as a recurrent event. The two-day seminar was followed by one-day R-packages workshop, which it is hoped will be expanded into a longer one-week workshop on demographic tools: mathematical and R-programing demography.


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