Story: Death and dying

Distribution of Māori and non-Māori female deaths by age group, 1886–2013

Click on an age group and ethnicity in the key to see that line on the graph; click on the selection again to remove it.

The graph above shows the ages at which most people die have steadily risen over the past 130 years. Mortality rates increased as infectious diseases, which tended to kill large numbers of children and young adults, were gradually eradicated. The Māori population felt this impact from around the mid-20th century – much later than non-Māori.

The distribution of deaths presented in the graph is based on the number dying at each age sourced from period life tables maintained by Statistics New Zealand. The tables allow comparison of hypothetical death numbers between populations with very different age compositions – such as Māori and non-Māori.

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Source: Statistics New Zealand: complete period life tables from 1966

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How to cite this page:

Ruth McManus and Rosemary Du Plessis, 'Death and dying - Dying and bereavement', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 22 July 2024)

Story by Ruth McManus and Rosemary Du Plessis, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 16 May 2018, updated 1 Nov 2023