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01.12.2015 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2015 Open Access

BMC Public Health 1/2015

Use of the life table to compare mortality in ethnic groups in Amsterdam, the Netherlands

BMC Public Health > Ausgabe 1/2015
Daan G. Uitenbroek
Wichtige Hinweise

Competing interests

The author declares that he have no competing interests.

Author’s contributions

All contributions by single author.



The life table is a valid and frequently used instrument to compare the mortality of migrant groups. Most analyses are limited to an overview and give only life expectancy; however, further analysis of the life table can give more insight into differences in patterns of mortality between groups.


A thorough life table analysis was applied to the mortality data of seven ethnic groups by age and gender.


Life expectancy is systematically higher in migrants compared with the Dutch citizens of Amsterdam. However, between birth and the age of 40 the probability of death is higher among non-western migrants compared with citizens of western origin. The number of deaths is small among the young. This results in very small differences in survival between the groups; from birth up to the age of 40 the survival rate is 98.7 % for citizens of western origin and 98.3 % for citizens of non-western origin. In all seven ethnic groups over 90.7 % of babies, male and female, survive up to the age of 60. In all female groups the survival is better than in male groups. Males and females aged 0 to 40 from Antillean origin are the only exception.


Life expectancy is generally higher in non-western than in western groups. Differences in survival between ethnic groups are small up to middle age.
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