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The population growth rate is linked to the distribution of age at death. We demonstrate that this link arises because both the birth and death rates depend on the variance of age-at-death. This bears the prospect to separate the influences of the age patterns of fertility and mortality on population growth rate. Here, we show how the age pattern of death affects population growth. Using this insight we derive a new approximation of the population growth rate that uses the first and second moments of the age-at-death distribution. We apply our new approximation to 46 mammalian life tables (including humans) and show that it is on par with the most prominent other approximations.

Original publication




Journal article


Theor Popul Biol

Publication Date





244 - 252


Age Factors, Humans, Models, Theoretical, Mortality, Population Growth