Canadian mortality in perspective: a comparison with the United States and other developed countries

Robert Bourbeau

Abstract


The purposes of this paper is to compare mortality patterns in Canada to the
United States and to other industrialised countries to give support to the
existence of a “North American Mortality Pattern” (NAMP), and to try to
explain this pattern in the context of the specific features of Canadian society.
Using data from the WHO mortality database for total and cause-specific mortality, we applied a decomposition method to explain the changes in mortality rate ratios during the 1950-1995 period. Our findings show that Canada has experienced a general increase of its mortality rate ratios compared to other developed countries. There is no evidence that the NAMP fits for Canada. In fact, Canadian mortality below age 65 is quite comparable to mortality in other developed countries. However there is a contrasting low mortality level for the oldest-old (80+).

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