Retrospective testing of mortality forecasting methods for the projection of very elderly populations in Australia
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The purpose of this paper is to present the results of retrospective tests of various extrapolative methods to forecast adult mortality and very elderly populations for Australia. Direct extrapolation methods tested include the Geometric method, Ediev variant, Lee-Carter method, BMS variant and a relational model. Indirect methods include the extrapolation of parameters of models fitted to the age profile of death rates and a new method involving the extrapolation of features of death frequency distributions namely the modal age and concentration. The geometric, Ediev and Lee- Carter BMS methods were very successful in projecting death rates and very elderly populations. Differences between these methods were small. The extrapolation of parametric functions proved successful for males but less so for females. Very elderly populations can be viably projected by directly extrapolating death rates by age when rates of decline in death rates show consistent relationships between ages and are stable over time
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