Robust forecasting of mortality and fertility rates: a functional data approach

2017-06-06T01:01:02Z (GMT) by Hyndman, Rob J. Ullah, Md Shahid
We propose a new method for forecasting age-specific mortality and fertility rates observed over time. Our approach allows for smooth functions of age, is robust for outlying years due to wars and epidemics, and provides a modelling framework that is easily adapted to allow for constraints and other information. We combine ideas from functional data analysis, nonparametric smoothing and robust statistics to form a methodology that is widely applicable to any functional time series data, and age-specific mortality and fertility in particular. We show that our model is a generalization of the Lee-Carter model commonly used in mortality and fertility forecasting. The methodology is applied to French mortality data and Australian fertility data, and we show that the forecasts obtained are superior to those from the Lee-Carter method and several of its variants.