Document Type



The purpose of this report was to develop life tables for the American Indian and Alaska Native population residing in the geographic area in which the Indian Health Service (IHS) has responsibilities and to make comparisons of Indian life expectancy to the total White, and All Other Races U.S. populations. Also included are life table definitions and study methodologies in order to provide a better understanding of the information generated in this study. Data incorporated into the life tables of this report are based on three years of data because of the small numbers of American Indian deaths that occur during a single calendar year. Construction of a life table is a series of age-specific mortality rates developed for that population. The methodology used here to collect data was developed by National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). Life tables provide a more refined means of measuring mortality levels in a population than crude, age-specific, or age-adjusted mortality rates. They allow comparison of mortality rates between populations without requiring adjustment to an actual standard population in order to account for differences in age distributions between those populations. Analysis of data collected allowed various functions for table evaluation including: 1) number of survivors; 2) number of deaths; 3) number of person-years lived at a given age; 4) number of person-years lived after reaching that age; and 5) expected future life for a person reaching that age.

Publication Date



Indian Health Service, Staff Office of Planning, Evaluation and Research, Rockville, Maryland 20857.