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 mortality and demographic data 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 2020. 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 2011–2020. 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 1948–2018. Māori and non-Māori mortality data is presented from 1996–2018.
  • 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 2019 and 2020 is not yet available, as this data is not yet complete enough to release.

Key findings

2020 Summary


  Number of deaths     Mortality rate    
  Total Male Female Total Male Female
Māori  3,930 2,141 1,789 552.2  646.5 469.4
Non Māori  28,853 14,861  13,992 318.2  374.2  268.0
Total  32,783 17,002 15,781  343.8  404.5 289.4
Note: Rates per 100,000 population, age standardised to WHO World Standard Population.
  • The leading causes of death in 2020 were cancer, ischaemic heart diseases and cerebrovascular diseases (with 109.9, 41.9 and 18.9 deaths per 100,000 population respectively).
  • For Māori, the leading causes of death in 2020 were cancer, ischaemic heart diseases and chronic lower respiratory diseases (with 163.8, 72.2 and 37.9 deaths per 100,000 Māori population respectively).


Trends over time 1948–2019

  • While the number of deaths has increased with the rising population, the mortality rate has decreased over time, from 982 deaths per 100,000 population in 1948 to 370 deaths per 100,000 in 2018.
  • Males had a consistently higher mortality rate than females, although the difference between the two decreased over time.

About the data

This data is sourced from the Mortality Collection.

Data for 2019 and 2020 is preliminary. Data for 2018 is final. Data for all other years is considered complete, but subject to regular updates.

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 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.

Publishing information

Date of publication:
07 September 2022
Ordering information:
Only soft copy available to download
Copyright status: Owned by the Ministry of Health and licensed for reuse under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence.