Journal Article

Regional hot spots of exceptional longevity in Germany

Kl├╝sener, S., Scholz, R. D.

Vienna Yearbook of Population Research, 11, 137-163 (2013)


Keywords: Germany, longevity, spatial analysis, spatial distance


In research on processes of demographic change such as the longevity revolution, vanguard populations are of specific interest, as studying these populations is likely to improve our understanding of the underlying mechanisms driving the change. This paper explores spatial variation in the occurrence of exceptional longevity in Germany using a large individual-level dataset covering all persons who reached ages of 105 and above in Germany in the period 1991 to 2002 (N: 1,339). In the first part of our analysis, we are able to show that many of these individuals died very close to their birth place. This finding of a localised lifetime net migration pattern provides support for the view that an analysis of regional variation in exceptional longevity can produce meaningful results, as a large share of the individuals were living in the same spatial context, at least early and late in life. In our analysis of regional variation in exceptional longevity, we are able to detect consistent hot spots in Berlin and north-western Germany. These findings are notable, as the areas of highest life expectancy at birth are currently located in the south of Germany.