Life Tables for the
United States Social Security
Area 1900-2100

by Felicitie C. Bell
and Michael L. Miller


Actuarial Study No. 120 displays life tables based on historical and projected mortality in the area covered by the United States Social Security program. This projected mortality was used in estimating the future costs for the Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) program included in the 2005 Report of the OASDI Board of Trustees to Congress. A web address for this and other Actuarial Studies is

The historical calendar year life tables in this study differ from those published by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). NCHS prepares U.S. Decennial Life Tables based on the decennial census of population and deaths for a three year period containing the census year. The series of tables begin with tables for the period 1900-1902. The most recent set of tables is for the period 1989-1991 and is located at the following internet site: In addition, NCHS prepares annual tables that can be found at the following internet site: The tables in this study are better suited to analyze time trends because, unlike the life tables produced by NCHS, they have all be constructed using the same method.

In addition, the U.S. Census Bureau projects calendar year life tables which differ from those in this study. A major reason for this difference is due to the different future mortality decline assumptions.

Alice H. Wade
Deputy Chief Actuary
August 1, 2005