Expected Survival Life Tables

Expected survival life tables are used when calculating relative survival statistics and crude probability of death using expected survival. Files containing expected survival tables for use in statistical software are available below. These contain the same data distributed with the SEER*Stat software and represent the expected probabilities of surviving the interval conditional on being alive at the beginning of the interval, generated from the general U.S. population data.

The default expected life tables in SEER*Stat have been updated to include years 2008 and 2009. The new life tables are provided by individual year 1970-2009, individual age 0-99 years, and race (White, Black, Other (American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian/Pacific Islander), All races for Other unspecified 1991+ and Unknown). The maximum age for the 1970-2009 life tables has changed to 99 (from 118 used in the 1970-2007 life tables) because there is evidence that life tables for older ages are unstable.

Important information about the change in the maximum age from 118 to 99 years:

  • Cases diagnosed at ages greater than the maximum age in the expected life tables were always excluded from the analyses. With the 1970-2009 life tables, cases diagnosed at ages over 100 years will be excluded.
  • Starting with the November 2013 data submission, some options in SEER*Stat survival sessions have also changed:
    • Cases that survive past the maximum age in the expected life tables are censored at the maximum age plus 1 year (100 years). This default can be turned off using the “Censor When Attained Age Exceeds Expected Table Max" option on the Parameters tab. It's important to know that the expected survival probability for the maximum age (99) will be used to represent expected survival for any age greater than the maximum age.

The annual life tables for years 1970 through 2000 tables are calculated using the U.S. Decennial Life Tables from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS)External Web Site Policy and smoothing methods, while the life tables for years 2001 through 2009 are from the NCHS annual U.S. life tables. Different methods are used to calculate life tables for other races. See Documentation for the Expected Survival Life Tables for more information.

Expected Survival Files

An older set of tables are also available for 1970-2007 with ages 0-118, however, SEER is using the new tables now due to concerns over the stability of the older ages.