Aggregate Mortality Table

What Is an Aggregate Mortality Table?

An aggregate mortality table is a tool that helps actuaries and other insurance professionals gather key data regarding death rates.

To properly price insurance products and ensure that insurance companies maintain adequate reserves, actuaries develop projections of future insured events that may lead to a payout, such as death, sickness, or disability. Mathematical models provide the frequency and timing of such events.

Aggregate mortality tables can be compared with select mortality tables, which provide data on the death rate of specific individuals who purchase life insurance.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Aggregate mortality tables provide life expectancy statistics of an entire group to be covered by a life insurance policy.
  • Insurance companies rely on aggregate mortality tables to determine insurance premiums.
  • Data is often used for group insurance policies that cover several individuals or employees.

Understanding Aggregate Mortality Tables

A mortality table, also known as a life table or actuarial table, shows the statistical rate of deaths occurring in a defined population during a selected time interval, or survival rates from birth to death. A mortality table provides the probability of a person's death before their next birthday, based on their current age. These tables are typically used to inform the premium and value of insurance policies and other forms of liability management. 

Aggregate mortality tables study the incidence rate and severity of events in the recent past, but average all demographics from the population into a single figure. From this, actuaries develop expectations about how the drivers of past events will change over time, and whether an increase or decrease in life expectancy from generation to generation will continue.

Creating an Aggregate Mortality Table

Actuaries create tables of percentages indicating the number of insured events that will occur in a population, usually based on the age or other relevant characteristics of the population. These tables may be referred to as mortality tables or morbidity tables.

Mortality tables are grids of numbers that show the probability of death for members of a given population within a defined period and commonly separate data for men and women.

Certain risks, like smoking, occupation, and socioeconomic class help actuaries determine longevity. The life insurance industry relies heavily on mortality tables, as does the Social Security Administration.

Mortality rates aren't static, often shifting according to factors including age group, sex, and other determinants. 

Aggregate Mortality Table Statistics Example

According to the Society of Actuaries, the overall age-adjusted mortality rate for both sexes from all causes of death recorded the historically highest increase of published records dating back to 1900 of 16.8% in 2020, following a 1.2% decrease in 2019. The impact of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic varied by age and sex. When COVID deaths are removed, all other causes of death combined mortality increased by 4.9%. 

The death rate from heart disease was up 4.2% in 2020, which followed a 1.2% decrease in 2019. Within ages 45-85+, the age group 85+ was the only one to have a higher five-year average in 2020 than in 2019. The five-year average female and male mortality for ages 85+ improved by 0.3% and 0.1%, respectively, in 2020. Ages 45-54 saw the greatest decrease, 2.3%, in the five-year average improvement for both females and males.

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  1. Social Security Administration. "Life Tables for the United States Social Security Area 1900-2100."

  2. Society of Actuaries. "U.S. Population Mortality Observations Updated With 2020 Experience."