Mortality web tool

Published online: 
04 October 2021
Mortality 2008 web tool screenshot

The Mortality web tool presents mortality and demographic data for selected causes of deaths registered in New Zealand from 1948–2018. Information about all deaths by ICD Chapter, ICD Subgroup, ICD three-character codes and demographics is available from 2014–2018.

The web tool enables you to explore trends over time using interactive graphs and tables. Filtered results, data dictionaries and full data sets can be downloaded from within the web tool.

The web tool presents:

  • Provisional information for the underlying causes of all deaths registered in New Zealand in 2018. Data is summarised by basic demographics (eg, sex and ethnicity) for all causes of death, and for common causes of death.
  • Number of deaths by ICD Chapter, ICD Subgroup and demographics from 2014–2018. The number of deaths by ICD three-character codes is available as a downloadable dataset.
  • Historical mortality data by sex and age group for certain causes of death from 1948–2017. Māori and non-Māori mortality data is presented from 1996–2017.
  • Technical information that details the data sources, analytical methods used to produce the summary data, and definitions for commonly used terms.

Data for 2018 is provisional. Data for all other years is considered complete, but subject to regular updates.

View the Mortality web tool

Key findings

2018 summary

  Number of deaths Mortality rate
Male Female Total  Male Female Total 
Māori 1,997 1,841 3,838 664.3 532.3 594.6
Non-Māori 15,048 14,430 29,478 404.2 289.7 343.5
Total 17,045 16,271 33,316 432.7 314.4 370
Note: Note: Rates per 100,000 population, age standardised to the World Health Organization’s standard world population.
  • The leading causes of death in 2018 were cancer, ischaemic heart diseases and cerebrovascular diseases (with 114.0, 48.0 and 23.1 deaths per 100,000 population respectively).
  • For Māori the leading causes of death in 2018 were cancer, ischaemic heart diseases and chronic lower respiratory diseases (with 170.8, 81.3 and 41.9 deaths per 100,000 Māori population respectively).

Trends over time 1948–2018

  • While the number of deaths increased with the rising population, the mortality rate decreased (from 982.0 per 100,000 population in 1948 to 370.0 per 100,000 in 2018).
  • Males had a consistently higher mortality rate than females, although the difference between the two decreased over time.
  • Mortality rates for Māori were generally higher than for non-Māori. Likewise, mortality rates for Māori males and Māori females were consistently higher than for their non-Māori counterparts.

About the data used in this web tool

This data is sourced from the Mortality Collection.

Data for 2018 is provisional:

  • Data for 2018 is provisional as the Ministry is yet to receive information for 9 deaths being investigated by the coroner, and 295 where the cause of death is provisional and not yet final. Data for all other years is considered complete, but subject to regular updates.
  • Data in this web tool was extracted on 11 June 2021 and supersedes data published in the 30 June 2021 version of the web tool; extracted on 17 March 2021.
  • This web tool will be updated in December 2021 as coroners complete their findings.

This web tool forms part of the Mortality and Demographic Data annual series. Future updates to mortality data will be incorporated into this web tool (new versions of the existing mortality data tables will not be released).

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, (pdf, 600 KB)


In this web tool, mortality data was extracted and recalculated for the years 1996–2018 to reflect ongoing updates to data in the Mortality Collection and the revision of population estimates and projections following each census. For this reason, there may be changes to some numbers and rates from those presented in previous publications and tables.

Please note that Stats NZ recently revised their population estimates for the period back until 2006, based on information from the 2018 Census. This will affect rates for some causes of death, particularly for Māori. Therefore, please do not compare rates presented in this publication with those in previous editions.

For more information on the revised population estimates please see Māori ethnic group revised population estimates.

We have quality checked the collection, extraction, and reporting of the data presented here. However, errors can occur. Contact the Ministry of Health if you have any concerns regarding any of the data or analyses presented here, at [email protected]

Publishing information

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