Life table analysis of a small sample of Santal population living in a rural locality of West Bengal, India

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Article (peer-reviewed)

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Life table calculation of small populations, especially of marginal populations, is difficult due to a small number of death records and lack of a systematic birth and death registry. The present study aimed to calculate a life table of a small sample of Santal population from Beliatore area of the Bankura district, West Bengal, India, using the recall method. The data on birth and death events were collected using house-to-house interviewing and cross-checking the data with reference to the significant events of the area and the family. The life table was calculated from age specific death rate of a closed population retrospectively estimated for 10 years. The calculated life expectancy at birth of the study population was 63.9 years with a standard error of 3.15 years. The finding agrees with the life expectancy of the other larger populations of the region, although calculated using conventional methods. The method needs to be evaluated to get the optimum number of death events required for calculating the life table with an acceptable error level. The study will be helpful for comparisons of overall health status of small populations with respect to time and space.


DOI: 10.2478/anre-2014-0018