meep (meep) wrote,

Geeking out, actuarial style; Or -- the fatal stupidity period: a demonstration

So.... I don't want to get into all the details of how this occurred, but suffice it to say I ended up at the Human Mortality Database (like you do), I pulled mortality stats from a bunch of countries, and I made some graphs.

Would you like to see them?

Okay, I will tell you where this originally stemmed from.  Some time ago, I made a graph to illustrate what I call "the stupid period"

What you are seeing above are the 2010-calendar year mortality rates for males and females in the U.S. (from the Social Security Administration) from ages 10 to 30.  Note that the mortality rate really shoots up for males from age 15-25-ish.  The peak is at about 22, and matches the mortality rate of men about a decade older. Women have a more steady increase of mortality, and none of that weird stuff.

During those years, male mortality increases due to accidental death, suicide, and homicide. I actually looked up the info at the CDC (not broken out by sex) and these are the ages where homicide actually barely edges out suicide. Homicide is usually less frequent than suicide, and I'll leave it to you to ponder why that may be (I have my own explanation).

So people were all up in my grill about my characterization of the "stupid period" and yadda yadda. I happen to have noticed this phenomenon a while back, and it's not unique to the U.S.  So I decided to demonstrate it.

So the first graph you're going to see here are ratios of death rates (by age) of males to females for some selected countries, for observation periods 2000-2009. I picked a decadal smoothing as the mortality rates generally don't move that fast, and one year's worth of death stats are all over the place for ages where probability is low for dying in the first place (look at that SSA table again - the peak is at less than 0.15% probability of death in one year - that's pretty low).

Here we go:

I graphed the results from age 10 to 65, and I want to note a few interesting patterns:

  • Russian mortality is depressing. More on that later.

  • The "fatally stupid period", representing a rise in male death rates in comparison to female death rates, is actually a bit longer than originally advertized, but other than Russia (more on that later), the countries all show this "heaped" pattern from about age 15 to 25.

  • The effect is less in Japan, though at higher ages Japanese males die faster than females. Mind you, of all the countries I'm showing here, death rates for Japanese females is the lowest.

  • Note the ratio is nowhere near 1 at all adult ages for any of the countries.

Yes men, you are screwed.

Now, let's pick out some specific countries and look at their mortality patterns: The U.S., UK, and Japan

I'm just plotting age 10 - 40, as the graphs are really boring past age 40.  Some observations:

  • U.S. males have the worst mortality of this sample

  • For this range, UK females and Japanese females have very close mortality rates.

  • Japanese males and U.S. females also have similar rates, though Japanese males are slightly worse than U.S. females during the stupid period

  • UK males are apparently not as stupid as U.S. males for all the drunken yob behavior you hear about. Go y'all.

And what about Russia?

Russian male mortality at age 20 is about the same as Japanese female mortality at age 60.

And Russian females are worse than even U.S. males once the stupid period is past.

Yeah. Vodka. Woo.

So I plan on looking into this data more, especially as a couple of the European countries have mortality data going back more than 200 years. =nerdgasm=  Maybe I'll make an animation.  There are also other countries to grab the tables for, and maybe new patterns will emerge.

For a final depressing piece of info on Russian mortality, the life expectancy from birth for Russian males using the 2000-2009 life tables was about 60 years old. For comparison, the next worst life expectancy was for Russian females, at 73 years old. The next worst after than was U.S. males, at 75 years old. Highest was for Japanese females at 86 years old.   Wooo.

Yes. This is what I do on a Friday night. Also, I've renamed the "stupid period" to the "fatally stupid period". I don't intend to give the impression that young women are less stupid than young men, just that their stupidity does not entail higher death rates.
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