Exceptional Longevity by Place of Birth and Place of Death in Germany: How Meaningful and Stable Are Spatial Patterns?

Sebastian Kluesener, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Rembrandt D. Scholz, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research

This study investigates the spatial pattern of exceptional longevity in Germany. We use a dataset covering all individuals aged 105 and above living in Germany in the period 1991-2002 (N: 1,339). Our results show that in Germany most of the semi-supercentenarians die close to their birth place. Hot spots of exceptional longevity are found in the capital Berlin and north-western Germany. This is remarkable, as over the last decades the highest life expectancy is recorded in southern Germany. The spatial pattern of exceptional longevity instead reflects the life expectancy pattern in the early 20th century, which suggests that early life conditions are very relevant. This is in line with earlier findings on the birth month influencing the chance to reach exceptional longevity. As a next step we will study German pension fund data allowing us to determine, to what degree the spatial pattern results from variation in socio-economic status.

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Presented in Session 92: The Oldest Old: Determinants of Very Long Lifespans