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Most research on mortality differentials by sex in India focuses on disparities among children under 5 years of age. This paper assesses the changing age and cause patterns of mortality by sex in India and selected States using survey data and including mortality trends over the life span. Since the 1970s, the gap between female and male mortality in India has increased to females’ advantage. This occurred despite persisting higher female mortality below age 5, a disadvantage masked by the large gap favoring women at adult and older ages. This paper finds that the life expectancy gap between females and males in the second half of the 1990s can be attributed mainly to non-communicable diseases and external causes of death. While more developed States (primarily in the South) showed higher female longevity already in the 1970s, the States that lagged behind displayed similar mortality levels for females and males up until the turn of the century. The paper recommends strengthening policies towards ending the discrimination of girls as well as targeted policies encouraging a healthy lifestyle for adults, particularly men.

Published since 1986 by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), the Asia-Pacific Population Journal (APPJ) brings out high-quality, evidence-based and forward-looking articles on a wide range of population and development issues in Asia and the Pacific.

This issue of the Asia-Pacific Population Journal contains the following articles:

The contribution of age-specific mortality towards male and female life expectancy differentials in India and selected States, 1970-2013. By Vladimir Canudas-Romo, Nandita Saikia and Nadia Diamond-Smith

Demography of a Small Island Nation: Findings from the 2011 Census of Population and Housing of the Republic of Marshall Islands. By Bhakta Gubhaju, Arthur Jorari and Gerald Haberkorn

Scenarios of population change in the coastal Ganges Brahmaputra Delta (2011-2051). By Sylvia Szabo, Dilruba Begum, Sate Ahmad, Zoe Matthews and Peter Kim Streatfield

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