Changes in Inequality in Mortality: New Evidence for Spain


We analyze the evolution of inequality in mortality in Spain during 1990-2014. We focus on age-specific mortality and consider inequality across narrowly defined geographical areas, ranked by average socioeconomic status. We find substantial decreases in mortality over the past 25 years for all age groups, which were particularly pronounced for men, resulting in a sizeable reduction in the gender gap in mortality. Inequality in mortality also decreased during this period, including during the recent recession, so that by the 2010’s mortality presents a flat socioeconomic gradient for most age groups. Compared to the US and Canada, decreases in mortality have been larger in Spain, and inequality is the lowest of the three countries. We find essentially no change in inequality among the elderly, in contrast to the increase found in the US.