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Vital Statistics and Mortality Tables

Certain famous population tables, known as English Life Tables I, II and III, were constructed by Dr. William Farr from British census statistics, and were published between 1845 and 1865.

A second table deduced from the British government experience with annuitants appeared in 1860, and a third in 1883.

A second "combined experience" table was published in 1869. It was deduced from the experience of 20 lead ing British offices, and is known as the 20 Offices Table. It consists really of three tables, a male life table known as the HM, a female life table known as the HF, and one, from male lives, omitting the first five years after entry, known as the table. The HM table soon became the recognized standard in Great Britain generally.

In the United States a "combined experience" table, representing the combined experience of 3o American companies, was published in 1870. It is known as the "3o American Offices' Table" or "Meech's Table," from the name of the chairman of the committee which had charge of the work. It never became standard, being objected to as including too large a proportion of freshly selected lives, and on other grounds.

In 1883 a "combined experience" table was published, based upon the experience of 23 German companies. This is known as the "23 German Offices' Table," and is the usual standard in Germany. A new mortality investiga tion is now in progress there.

In France, there were early tables, as follows : Duvil lard's Table for annuitants and Deparcieux's Table for insured lives, each named for its author. The former was published in 1806 and was deduced during certain investigations of the effect of small-pox upon mortality, and the latter was published in 1746 and was deduced from the experience of certain religious houses.

In 1895, "combined experience" tables, both for insured lives and annuitants, were published in France, being con structed from the experience of the leading French com panies. The table from insured lives is known as AF and the table from annuitants as RF. Both are from male and female experience combined.

A mortality table, known as the Fraternal Congress Table, was adopted by the National Fraternal Congress as a for fraternities, and, upon its recommenda tion, has been made the state standard for such societies pretty generally. Published in 1898, it was derived from the actual experience of two American fraternal societies, with certain arbitrary adjustments and modifications.

New "combined experience" tables of the British com panies, giving the experience as to assured lives and an nuitants, and also for males and females separately, were brought out by the Institute and the Faculty of Actuaries jointly in 1903. Tables showing experiences under differ ent kinds of insurance and also for different years of in surance, 1. e., on a "select" basis, are also given.

The British government annuity tables also set forth male and female experience separately, as do the English Life Tables and the 3o American Offices' Table.

The combined experience of the leading American com panies as to lives accepted otherwise than as first class, has been analyzed by a committee of the Actuarial Society in its "Specialized Mortality Investigation," published in 1903. This gives the mortality rates, as influenced by

certain features of personal or family history, personal condition when accepted, residence, occupation, etc. A similar and more extended investigation is now in pro gress.

In 1905, a modification of the American Experience Table was made by the author of this book, so as to show approximately the benefits of fresh selection by medical examination. It is known as "select and ultimate" and has been adopted in New York as a table by which to compute minimum reserves. It is constructed on the as sumption that mortality rates during the first five years will be the following percentages of the "ultimate" or table rates for the same ages: and thereafter the full "ultimate" rates.

The introduction of the Actuaries' or 17 Offices' Table as the standard of valuation in the State of Massachusetts was not regarded by Commissioner Wright as more than tentative. He expected and desired that a new standard should be adopted when the actual experience of Ameri can companies could be compiled. Accordingly, for sev eral years, he printed in the reports of that department tables showing the actual mortality of companies report ing to it, compared with the expected by the Actuaries' Table, and thus showed that the actual experience was much more favorable than the table. Concerning this he remarked, in his last report, 1865: "Of course this favor able difference of experience cannot be permanently held by companies whose business is chiefly life policies; for, if the death rate is slower on the earlier ages, it must be faster on the later, the limit of human life being pretty certainly fixed." Population statistics do not bear out Mr. Wright's gen eralization, and there is reason to believe that the same influences which make mortality lower at earlier ages work in a diminishing but always sensible degree to extend also the ultimate limit of life. But his conclusions do agree remarkably well with the experience as to insured lives generally; the phenomenon is, however, ascribed mainly to the disinclination of old men, who feel that their chances of life are as good as, or better than, the average at their ages, to continue to carry life insurance, which is usually no longer needed.

The wisdom, also, of continuing to employ a conserva tive table, giving somewhat redundant premiums, is justi fied by the fact that, while the death-losses of companies are each year, on the average, materially less than the expected by either the Actuaries' or the American Ex perience table, individual companies have more than once showed mortality equal to the expected by the table or exceeding it.

Accordingly, the Actuaries' and the American Experi ence Tables have continued to be standards in the United States. The Actuaries' Table has generally, though not always, been the standard where the rate of interest was set at 4 per cent., and the American Experience Table has always been the standard where the rate of interest has been set at four and one-half, three and one-half or three per cent.

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table, experience, life, american and published