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Forecasting mortality is still a big challenge for Governments that are interested in reliable projections for defining their economic policy at local and national level. The accuracy of mortality forecasting is considered an important issue for longevity risk management. In the literature, many authors have analyzed the long-run relationship between mortality evolution and socioeconomic variables, such as economic growth, unemployment rate or educational level. This paper investigates the existence of a link between mortality and real gross domestic product per capita (GDPPC) over time in the Italian regions. Empirical evidence shows the presence of a relationship between mortality and the level of real GDPPC (and not its trend). Therefore, we propose a multi-population model including the level of real GDPPC and we compare it with the Boonen–Li model (Boonen and Li in Demography 54:1921–1946, 2017). The validity of the model is tested in the out-of-sample forecasting experiment.