Latvia show a decline with age in the implied level of expectation of life at birth, both because of high mortality at the older working ages and because more recent cohorts were born into a generally more favorable mortality situation than earlier cohorts. The data for Uighurs show a higher implied expectation of life at birth at older than at younger ages; indeed, among Uighur men aged 75-79. the implied expectation of life is as high as that for Swedish men.
A higher implied expectation of life at older ages does not by itself indicate that the data are poor, since a variety of mortality conditions and causes of death could produce such a shape. (See also Shkolnikov et al. and Kingkade and Arriaga, in this volume.) However, the very low mortality rates that are implied at older ages for Uighurs as compared with Swedes are clearly implausible given the known public health conditions in Xinjiang as compared with Sweden. Thus those low rates suggest poor data quality (see Coale and Li, 1991; Anderson and Silver, 1994c).
Further indications of data quality problems result from examining the implied expectation of life at birth based on age-specific mortality rates for urban and rural populations of Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Russia, and Latvia for 1978-1979 and 1990. Except for Latvia, the implied expectation of life at birth is higher at older ages among rural than among urban populations. This is more evident for 1978-1979 than for 1990. We interpret this rural-urban crossover as another indication of problems with data quality. Although this crossover occurs in Russia, the age at which it occurs is much later in Russia than in Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan, and the distance between rural and urban populations is much smaller for Russia than for the other two.