Skip to main content

Please note: this event has passed

In 2021 the ONS published experimental life expectancy estimates for the period 2011 to 2014 showing longer life expectancy for minoritised ethnic groups in England and Wales when compared with the white majority. This was in contrast to a large body of evidence of poorer health outcomes among many minoritised ethnic groups.

In this seminar we present findings from a project funded by the Nuffield Foundation where we examined the sensitivity of the ONS’ life expectancy estimates to selected potential sources of error.

Our work finds that the ONS’ estimates of life expectancy for minoritised ethnic groups exhibit high sensitivity to error that is not seen in the estimates for the White British population. There is scope for considerable error among minoritised ethnic groups, due to the large amount of missing data among these groups, and the potential for those missing cohorts to be at higher risk of morbidity and mortality.

Topics covered in the seminar will include:

• Discussion of literature on “salmon bias” and the “migrant mortality advantage”.
• Identifying the potential sources of error in the life expectancy estimates.
• Determining whether alternative data sources and methodologies could be used in the estimates of life expectancy.
• Testing the sensitivity of the life expectancy estimates to the previously-identified potential sources of error.
• Examining differences in life expectancy between UK-born and foreign-born minoritised ethnic cohorts, as well as producing estimates by disaggregated ethnic groups.
• Producing estimates of disability-free life expectancy by ethnic group.


Professor Laia Becares (chair)

Dr Harry Taylor (presenter)

Harry Taylor is Post-doctoral Research Associate in Ethnicity and Mortality at King’s College London. He is a quantitative data scientist whose research concerns ethnic inequalities in mortality and morbidity.

At this event

Laia Becares

Professor of Social Science and Health

Harry Taylor

Postdoctoral Research Associate in Ethnicity and Mortality