Mortality: Historical summary 1948–2015

Published online: 
16 April 2018


These tables present mortality data (numbers and age-standardised rates) by sex for certain causes of death for each year from 1948 to 2015. Māori and non-Māori mortality data is presented from 1996 to 2015.

The causes of death included are:

  • All cancer
  • Ischaemic heart disease
  • Cerebrovascular disease
  • Chronic lower respiratory diseases
  • Other forms of heart disease
  • Influenza and Pneumonia
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Intentional self-harm
  • Assault
  • All deaths.

Numbers and rates are available as:

About the data used in this edition

Data from 1948 to 1995 presented in these tables was sourced from publications in the Ministry of Health Mortality data and stats series.

Data from 1996 to 2015 was extracted from the New Zealand Mortality Collection electronic records on 13 February 2018. Rates have been re-calculated for data on deaths registered between 1996 and 2015, to reflect ongoing updates to data in the New Zealand Mortality Collection (eg, following the release of coroners' findings) and the revision of population estimates. This has resulted in small changes to some numbers and rates from those reported in previous publications.

At the time of data extraction, there were 575,058 deaths registered from 1996 to 2015. Included in this data were 669 deaths provisionally coded (awaiting coroners’ findings) and 32 deaths awaiting coroners’ findings with no known cause.

Ethnic breakdowns of mortality data are only shown from 1996 onwards because there was a significant change in the way ethnicity was defined, and in the way ethnicity data was collected in 1995. For more information please refer to the Ministry of Health report, Mortality and Demographic Data 1996.

Publishing information

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