At present the database contains detailed data for a collection of 34 countries or areas. We plan to add several more countries to this collection over the next few years. However, this database will be limited to populations where death registration and census data are virtually complete, since this type of information is required by the uniform method followed in the HMD. As a result, the countries and areas included here are relatively wealthy and for the most part highly industrialized. Life tables describe the extent to which a generation of people (i.e. life table cohort) dies off with age. the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock, Germany, the Department of Demography at the University of California at Berkeley, USA and the Institut national d'études démographiques (INED) in Paris, France.