Life Tables by Race: A Comparison among Methods
Estela María García de Pinto da Cunha, Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP)
Jeronimo O. Muniz, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG)
Alberto A. E. Jakob, Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP)
José Marcos Da Cunha, Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP)
Research shows that blacks and whites differ widely in their profiles of morbidity and mortality, but little is known about the sensitivity of interracial differences in mortality to different methods of estimation. This paper presents, compares and evaluates life tables by sex and race/color for all of Brazil, constructed on the basis of indirect demographic methods of estimation based on information regarding surviving children and mothers’ mortality (variants of the Brass indirect method). Information was also obtained by using direct methods, which combine statistics on reported deaths and intercensal growth rates. The data was taken from the Brazilian demographic censuses and nationally representative household surveys (PNADS). We discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each method and present confidence intervals for estimates of mortality by sex, age and race/color. Finally, we discuss the impact that racial reclassification may have on recent estimates.