Life Expectancies and Monte Carlo Standard Deviations

Dr. Tom Short
Associate Professor
Mathematics Department

During a summer program for high school students in Mathematics, Biology, and Computing I learned a little bit about the computation of life expectancies in actuarial life tables.  Life expectancies are expected values, or means, but they are rarely reported with accompanying measures of variability.

I'll share what I know about the calculation of the life expectancies, and then illustrate how we used a Monte Carlo simulation approach to compute standard deviations for the life expectancies.  I'll apply the results to the analysis of life expectancies for counties in Pennsylvania.

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