Inequality in Mortality over a Century in France by Age, Gender and Place: 1920-2020

Josselin Thuilliez (Centre d’Economie de la Sorbonne)

May 13, 2022, 11:30–12:30


Room Auditorium 6


Many recent studies show that Europe has had a lower mortality inequality for most ages than the United States over the last thirty years. However, the evolution of the income gradient in mortality all along the twentieth century remains poorly understood. The presentation will provide an overview of recent comparative studies on inequality in Mortality in France, Europe and the US. Next, the study uses a unique dataset that gives the annual lifetables and fiscal income for the 90 administrative regions of mainland France from 1922 to 2020. The income gradients in mortality are computed across regions using a traditional method with calendar ages and, alternatively, with mortality milestones to control for the increase in life expectancy over long time periods. The study reveals a systematic reversal of the gradient that occurred around the 1970s for both sexes and all ages or mortality groups. The fact that the most densely populated, richest areas have only very recently benefited from an effective health system suggests that the urban penalty, often seen as a specific feature of the nineteenth century, was in fact still prevalent after World War II. Inequality in mortality amongst the oldest age groups has however returned to a level observed at least ten years earlier because of Covid-19, even after controlling for mortality improvements over the period.


Josselin Thuilliez (Centre d’Economie de la Sorbonne), Inequality in Mortality over a Century in France by Age, Gender and Place: 1920-2020, IAST General Seminar, Toulouse: IAST, May 13, 2022, 11:30–12:30, room Auditorium 6.