Hostname: page-component-7d684dbfc8-hsbzg Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2023-09-24T12:58:36.377Z Has data issue: false Feature Flags: { "corePageComponentGetUserInfoFromSharedSession": true, "coreDisableEcommerce": false, "coreDisableSocialShare": false, "coreDisableEcommerceForArticlePurchase": false, "coreDisableEcommerceForBookPurchase": false, "coreDisableEcommerceForElementPurchase": false, "coreUseNewShare": true, "useRatesEcommerce": true } hasContentIssue false

On a Mathematical Formula to express the Rate of Mortality throughout the whole of Life, tested by a Series of Observations made use of by the Danish Life Insurance Company of 1871

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 August 2016

T. N. Thiele*
Institute of Actuaries


The formula for the law of mortality which I am about to explain and apply to a practical case, is not a merely empirical formula. but is based on a presumed property of the causes of death. The value of the formula is however a question which is in a great measure independent of the correctness of my hypothesis; for it is well known that even a false hypothesis may be of great service. While I shall certainly be very much interested to learn the opinion entertained by actuaries as to the theoretical part of the subject, yet the practical application of the formula is the point to which I attach most importance, and to which I would by preference invite criticism.

Research Article
Copyright © Institute and Faculty of Actuaries 1872

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


page 316 note * It may be useful to remind the reader tha t most continental writers use the functional form of notation, where English writers are in the habit of using the index, or subscript, form. Thus in Dr. Thiele's paper, p(x) and p(x), which, are considered as functions of the age x, mean exactly the same thing as the l x and p x commonly used in England.—ED. J.I. A.