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We developed a general statistical model that provides a comprehensive framework for inference about survival rates based on standing age-structure and ages-at-death data. Previously available estimators are maximum likelihood under the general model, but they use only 1 type of data and require the assumption of a stable age structure and a known population growth rate. We used the general model to derive new survival rate estimators that use both types of data and require only the assumption of a stable age structure or a known population growth rate. Our likelihood-based approach allows use of standard model-selection procedures to test hypotheses about age-structure stability, population growth rates, and age-related patterns in survival. We used this approach to estimate survival rates for female sea otters (Enhydra lutris) in Prince William Sound, Alaska.