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The structure of variation in human mortality patterns is explored using a five-parameter competing hazards model and standard multivariate taxonomic procedures. The data consist of 281 national life tables representing a wide range of environmental and cultural regions of the world. A general or average age pattern of mortality was generated for the entire sample using multiple regression procedures. A K mean cluster analysis conducted on the residuals of the regression analysis identified seven distinct models of mortality that differ in characteristic ways from the general pattern. Four of the seven clusters have age patterns of mortality similar to the north, east, south, and west regions of the Coale and Demeny model life tables. The remaining three clusters represent regions of the world and age patterns of mortality that are not represented in the Coale and Demeny model life tables.