U.S. Decennial Life Tables for 1989-1991

The National Center for Health Statistics has just released its “U.S. Decennial Life Tables for 1989-91.” The life tables are used to obtain measures of comparative longevity for persons in the United States. The death rates in this report were calculated using data from the 1990 Census of Population and deaths occurring in the United States to residents of the United States during the 3-year period, 1989-91.

Life expectancy data are presented for the black and white population and for the population other than white. Data are further tabulated by sex. The report also provides standard errors of the probability of dying and of life expectancy.

Data highlights

Based on the mortality experience of 1989-91, the expectation of life at birth is 71.83 years for males, 78.81 years for females, 76.13 years for the white population and 69.16 years for the black population.

Presented also is an examination of average remaining lifetime at other ages of life. Ages 21, 62, and 65 years are of interest because they are regarded as representing, respectively, the traditional age for the attainment of adulthood, the minimum retirement age prescribed by the Social Security Act, and the normal retirement age. The 1989-91 values of expectation of life at age 21 are 53.04 years for white males, 59.39 years for white females, 45.83 years for black males, and 54.53 years for black females. Corresponding values for age 62 years are 17.28, 21.48, 14.88, and 19.34; and for age 65 years, they are 15.24, 19.14, 13.27, and 17.37 years.

Keywords: United States, decennial life tables, life expectancy

Page last reviewed: November 6, 2015