Pātiki and Waharua Kōpito patterns

Mortality web tool

The data presented in this tool can be explored by year, ethnicity, sex, district health board of residence, age group, and underlying cause of death.

About the mortality web tool

The mortality web tool presents information about cause of death, and demographic information about the deceased, for deaths registered in New Zealand.

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:

  • Preliminary information for the underlying causes of all deaths registered in New Zealand in 2021. 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 2012–2021. 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 1948–2021. Māori and non-Māori mortality data is presented from 1996–2021.
  • Technical information that details the data sources, analytical methods used to produce the summary data, and definitions for commonly used terms.
  • Please note that data on external causes of death for 2020 and 2021 is not yet available, as this data is not yet complete enough to release.

Key findings

2021 Summary
  Number of deaths Mortality rate
  Total Female Male Total Female  Male
Māori  4,126 1,951 2,175 554.5 490.4 625.3
Non Māori 30,871 15,024 15,847 330.7 279.0 388.3
Total 34,997 16,975 18,022 355.8 302.2 415.4
Note: Rates are per 100,000 population, age standardised to the WHO World Standard Population.
  • In 2021, there were 34,997 deaths registered in Aotearoa New Zealand, with an overall age standardised mortality rate of 355.8 deaths per 100,000 population.
  • Māori tend to have higher mortality rates than non-Māori. In 2021, the rate of Māori deaths was 1.7 times that of non-Māori.
  • For the total population, the leading causes of death in 2021 were cancer, ischaemic heart diseases and cerebrovascular diseases (with 110.8, 42.9 and 19.2 deaths per 100,000 population respectively).
  • For Māori, the leading causes of death in 2021 were cancer, ischaemic heart diseases and chronic lower respiratory diseases (with 166.2, 72.0 and 35.5 deaths per 100,000 Māori population respectively).


Trends over time 1948–2021

  • While the total number of deaths has increased with the rising population, the mortality rate has generally decreased over time, from 982 deaths per 100,000 population in 1948 to 355 deaths per 100,000 in 2021.
  • 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

This data is sourced from the Mortality Collection.

Data for 2020 and 2021 is preliminary, due to the number of outstanding deaths with no known cause awaiting coronial findings. Data for 2019 is provisional. Data for all other years is considered complete, but subject to regular updates. When data for this web tool was extracted, Te Whatu Ora was yet to receive information about cause of death from coronial findings for 208 deaths registered in 2021, 115 in 2020, and 13 in 2019.

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).


This web tool presents data to the latest year for which data is available for publication. We have quality checked the collection, extraction, and reporting of the data presented here. However, errors can occur.

Contact us through the Data Services team at Health New Zealand | Te Whatu Ora if you have any concerns regarding any of the data or analyses presented here.

We make no warranty, expressed or implied, nor assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, correctness or use of the information or data in this tool.