Socioeconomic Differentials in Mortality among the Oldest Old in China

Haiyan Zhu, University of Michigan

Though the inverse relationship between socioeconomic status (SES) and mortality has been documented for many populations throughout the world, whether this relationship holds true for the elderly population has been questioned. Most notably, some scholars have suggested that the relationship may disappear at the oldest ages. Using data from the 1998, 2000 and 2002 waves of “The Chinese Healthy Longevity Survey,” this paper examines the relationship between socioeconomic status and mortality among the oldest old (80+) population in China. Our results demonstrate the continuing prevalence of SES differentials in mortality--higher SES is significantly associated with lower mortality risks--among the oldest-old population in China.

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Presented in Session 47: New Directions on Mortality Research