Drivers of Mortality: risk factors and inequality

Drivers of mortality (Website)



This paper takes a detailed look at socio-economic variation in mortality across England.

Generic metrics such as the index of multiple deprivation (IMD) can be effective at the aggregate level of national deciles, but we demonstrate that they perform much less well at the regional, urban–rural, and neighbourhood level. We use local linear regression to develop a new, customized index for neighbourhood mortality that addresses the mortality-specific shortcomings of the IMD based on socio-economic and related, non-spatial predictive variables. We find that old-age income deprivation and employment deprivation are key determinants of mortality, but also that urban–rural class and the presence of care homes in a neighbourhood have an important role to play in assessing underlying mortality rates relative to national mortality. Residual spatial/regional variation in mortality is found to be much less significant than socio-economic variation and much lower than the residual regional variation that results from the use of the IMD.


This article was published in the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A: Statistics in Society, 2024, 00, 1-24.

Click here to read the article. 


Andrew J.G. Cairns of The Maxwell Institute for Mathematical Sciences, and Department of Actuarial Mathematics and Statistics, Heriot-Watt University

Torsten Kleinow of The Research Centre for Longevity, Risk Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Amsterdam

Jie Wen Lloyds Banking Group, UK


Age and deprivation standardized mortality rate, local linear regression, lower layer super output area, mortality inequality, regional mortality variation. Socioeconomic differences

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