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Estimating age- and sex-specific mortality rates for small areas with TOPALS regression: an application to Brazil in 2010

Estimativa de taxas de mortalidade por idade e sexo para pequenas áreas com regressão de TOPALS: uma aplicação para o Brasil em 2010

Estimación de las tasas de mortalidad por edad y sexo de las pequeñas áreas con regresión de TOPALS: una aplicación a Brasil en 2010


High variability in recorded vital events creates serious problems for small-area mortality estimation by age and sex. Many existing approaches to fitting local mortality schedules, including those most often used in Brazil, estimate rates by making rigid mathematical assumptions about local age patterns. Such methods assume that all areas within a larger area (for example, microregions within a mesoregion) have identically-shaped log mortality schedules by age. We propose a more flexible statistical estimation method that combines Poisson regression with the TOPALS relational model (DE BEER, 2012). We use the new method to estimate age-specific mortality rates in Brazilian small areas (states, mesoregions, microregions, and municipalities) in 2010. Results for Minas Gerais show notable differences in the age patterns of mortality between adjacent small areas, demonstrating the advantages of using a flexible functional form in regression models.

Key words
Mortality; Small areas; TOPALS method; Poisson regression

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