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The impact of using the 2013 European Standard Population to calculate mortality and cancer incidence rates

The new ESP takes into account Europe’s ageing population, allowing for more representative incidence rates

The European Standard Population (ESP) is an artificial population structure used in the weighting of mortality or incidence data to produce age-standardised rates, which allows fair comparison of rates in different regions.

For the first time since the ESP was introduced in 1976, Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, has updated it in order to make it more representative of the current population in Europe (Eurostat, 2013), and ONS is adopting this new version (the 2013 ESP) starting from summer 2014.

Comparing the 1976 ESP and the 2013 ESP population structures

Comparing the 1976 ESP and the 2013 ESP population structures

Notes:

  1. The revised ESP (known as the 2013 ESP) gives more weighting to older age groups, reflect the ageing population in Europe

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How will mortality rates be affected?

For both sexes, mortality rates for all death registered in 2012 were significantly higher when calculated using the 2013 ESP compared with the 1976 ESP. This is to be expected as deaths predominantly occur at older ages and the larger number of older people in the 2013 ESP exerts more influence on these figures. The extent to which rates standardised using the 2013 ESP differ from those using the 1976 ESP depends on the cause of death.

For more information on the effect of the new ESP on different causes of death, read the full article: The impact of calculating mortality rates using the 2013 European Standard Population on causes of death (400.7 Kb Pdf) .

How will cancer incidence rates be affected?

For almost all cancers, the cancer incidence rates for registrations 2011 are higher when calculated using the 2013 ESP, and for some cancers, this change is large.  This is because the age distributions of diagnoses differ depending on the type of cancer.

For more information on the effect of the new ESP on cancer incidence rates, read the full article: The impact of calculating cancer incidence rates using the 2013 European Standard Population (352.3 Kb Pdf) .

Categories: Cancer, Health and Social Care, Health of the Population, Conditions and Diseases
Content from the Office for National Statistics.
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