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Early uses of Graunt's life table

Author:
Seal, H L
Source:
Journal of the Institute of Actuaries [JIA] (1980) 107: 507-511
Publication date:
31 December 1980
File:
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Document description

The first life table was a brilliant ‘guesstimate’ by John Graunt (1662) based on mortality data analysed by cause of death but not by age or sex. It was over thirty years before Halley (1693) constructed a table to show ‘the odds that there is, that a Person of that [any] Age does not die in a Year’. In the meantime several writers tried to use Graunt’s figures to make deductions about probabilities of death. This note is a description of these efforts.