TABLE 4-1 Percentage of 20-Year-Olds Expected to Die by Age 60, for Russia in 1978-1979, 1990, and 1992, and Latvia in 1978-1979 and 1990

 

Russia

Latvia

Year

Men

Women

Men

Women

1978-1979

34.8

13.0

30.7

12.0

1990

31.3

11.4

30.4

11.5

1992

35.8

12.7

n.a.

n.a.

n.a. = not available

mortality rates in effect. For both males and females in Russia and in Latvia, there was a decline in that percentage between 1978-1979 and 1990. Between 1990 and 1992, the percentage of 20 year olds who would die before age 60 increased for both males and females in Russia. In 1992, the age-specific mortality rates imply that 36 percent of men reaching age 20 would die before reaching age 60. By world standards, the survival rate of men in Russia from ages 20 to 60 is extremely low (Anderson and Silver, 1994a). The level of mortality between ages 20 and 60 for Russian men in 1992 is consistent with an expectation of life at birth of 52 years. Moreover, a recent report by the Russian Federation Ministry of Health (Russia Minzdrav, 1994) indicates that mortality rates in Russia rose considerably between 1992 and 1993.

This very high level of mortality among Russian men at working ages has substantial policy implications. In a period of social disruption, high levels of male mortality mean that high levels of widowhood exacerbate the effects of high divorce rates in breaking up families. The increase in female-headed households resulting from high adult mortality contributes to high levels of poverty. Households headed by women have long been a major segment of the poor in Russia.

Age-Specific Mortality Rates in the Traditionally Moslem NIS Countries

Many problems with mortality data from less-developed countries are found in the data for the traditionally Moslem NIS countries. As discussed earlier, all of these problems result in reported mortality rates lower than the actual rates. As the quality of the data improves, the mortality rates increase, even if the actual mortality situation has not changed.

Figure 4-4 shows the implied levels of expectation of life at birth for males in Sweden in 1989, for Uighur males in Xinjiang in 1990, and for males in Latvia in 1990. For Sweden, there is a comparatively horizontal line. The results for



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