Modelling socio-economic mortality at neighbourhood level

Jie Wen, Andrew John George Cairns, Torsten Kleinow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
22 Downloads (Pure)


In this study, we quantify the relationship between socio-economic status and life expectancy and identify combinations of socio-economic variables that are particularly useful for explaining mortality differences between neighbourhoods in England. We achieve this by examining socio-economic variation in mortality experiences across small areas in England known as lower layer super output areas (LSOAs). We then consider 12 socio-economic variables that are known to have a strong association with mortality. We estimate the relationship between those variables and mortality rates using a random forest algorithm. Based on the resulting estimate, we then create a new socio-economic mortality index – the Longevity Index for England (LIFE). The index is constructed in a way that eliminates the impact of care homes that might artificially increase mortality rates in LSOAs with care homes compared to LSOAs that do not contain a care home. Using mortality data for different age groups, we make the index age-dependent and investigate the impact of specific socio-economic characteristics on the age-specific mortality risk. We compare the explanatory power of the LIFE index to the English Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) as predictors of mortality. While we find that the IMD can explain regional mortality differences to some extent, the LIFE index has significantly greater explanatory power for mortality differences between regions. Our empirical results also indicate that income deprivation amongst the elderly and employment deprivation are the most significant socio-economic factors for explaining mortality variation across LSOAs in England.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-310
Number of pages26
JournalASTIN Bulletin: The Journal of the IAA
Issue number2
Early online date11 Apr 2023
Publication statusPublished - May 2023


  • Socio-economics
  • random forest
  • mortality
  • longevity
  • lower layer super output area


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