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Complete Health Indicator Report of Leading Causes of Death


Deaths due to underlying causes of death eligible to be ranked as leading causes of death based on National Center for Health Statistics standards


Number of deaths due to a particular underlying cause


Percent: Total number of deaths due to all causes; Rate: Number of persons in the population

Why Is This Important?

Analysis of mortality by cause is essential for the development of prevention strategies.

How Are We Doing?

Preliminary 2017 data show that the ten leading causes of death in New Jersey remained the same as in 2016. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US, New Jersey, and each NJ county. Cancer is the second leading cause of death. Together, these two causes of death account for nearly half of all deaths each year. Unintentional injury, stroke, chronic lower respiratory diseases (CLRD), Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, septicemia (sepsis), kidney disease, and influenza/pneumonia round out the remainder of the ten leading causes of death for New Jersey in 2016 and in 2017. For each year of 2009-2014, the leading causes of death had been, in order, heart disease, cancer, stroke, CLRD, unintentional injury, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, septicemia (sepsis), kidney disease, and influenza/pneumonia. In 2015, fueled by the opioid overdose epidemic, unintentional injury replaced CLRD as the fourth leading cause of death. Alzheimer's disease and septicemia overtook diabetes in positions 6 through 8. In 2016, unintentional injury replaced stroke as the third leading cause of death and diabetes switched places with septicemia to become the seventh leading cause of death. [ Table of leading causes of death for each year, 2000-2016]

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the US, but is 14th in New Jersey. New Jersey's 8th leading cause of death, septicemia, was 12th in the US in 2017. The other leading causes of death are in the Top 10 in both New Jersey and the US. The age-adjusted death rates in 2017 for New Jersey's ten leading causes of death are lower than those of the U.S. for each cause except septicemia.

Related Indicators

Health Status Outcomes

There are also indicator profiles for leading causes of death by age, race/ethnicity, and gender. These are accessible on the [ Mortality and Leading Causes of Death] page.

Related Health Status Outcomes Indicators:

Data Tables

Leading Causes of Death: Counts and Percentages, New Jersey, 2016

Cause of DeathPercent of DeathsNumer- ator
Record Count: 11
Heart Disease25.4%18,598
Unintentional Injury5.2%3,840
Alzheimer's Disease3.3%2,435
Kidney Disease2.1%1,535
Influenza and Pneumonia1.6%1,208
All Other Causes25.8%18,884

Data Source

Death Certificate Database, Office of Vital Statistics and Registry, New Jersey Department of Health

Leading Causes of Death: Age-Adjusted Rates, New Jersey and the U.S., 2016

US/NJCause of DeathDeaths per 100,000 Standardized PopulationLower LimitUpper LimitNumer- ator
Record Count: 20
USHeart Disease165.5165.1165.9635,260
USUnintentional Injury47.447.247.6161,374
USAlzheimer's Disease30.330.130.5116,103
USKidney Disease13.113.013.350,046
USInfluenza and Pneumonia13.513.413.651,537
NJHeart Disease164.7162.0167.418,598
NJUnintentional Injury40.839.542.13,840
NJAlzheimer's Disease21.120.122.02,435
NJKidney Disease13.813.014.61,535
NJInfluenza and Pneumonia10.710.011.41,208

Data Sources

  • Death Certificate Database, Office of Vital Statistics and Registry, New Jersey Department of Health
  • National Vital Statistics Reports, NCHS, CDC
  • Population Estimates, State Data Center, New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, []

Leading Causes of Death: Percentages by County of Residence, New Jersey, 2016

Leading Causes of DeathCountyPercent of DeathsNoteNumer- atorDenom- inator
Record Count: 46
Heart DiseaseAtlantic26.9%#17422,757
Heart DiseaseBergen25.8%#11,8437,149
Heart DiseaseBurlington23.8%#19974,181
Heart DiseaseCamden23.2%#11,0944,720
Heart DiseaseCape May29.0%#13711,279
Heart DiseaseCumberland23.5%#13581,525
Heart DiseaseEssex24.4%#11,4625,988
Heart DiseaseGloucester24.1%#16362,639
Heart DiseaseHudson24.5%#19113,713
Heart DiseaseHunterdon24.0%#2221919
Heart DiseaseMercer24.2%#17162,958
Heart DiseaseMiddlesex25.2%#11,5115,990
Heart DiseaseMonmouth25.5%#11,3825,426
Heart DiseaseMorris25.1%#19463,773
Heart DiseaseOcean29.5%#12,1437,267
Heart DiseasePassaic25.1%#19143,648
Heart DiseaseSalem27.0%#1208770
Heart DiseaseSomerset23.9%#15642,356
Heart DiseaseSussex23.9%#22891,209
Heart DiseaseUnion25.7%#11,0153,948
Heart DiseaseWarren27.5%#12751,000
Heart DiseaseNew Jersey25.4%#118,59873,217
Heart DiseaseUnited States23.1%#1635,2602,744,248
CancerCape May22.8%#22921,279
CancerNew Jersey22.4%#216,37773,217
CancerUnited States21.8%#2598,0382,744,248

Data Notes

In the data table, #1 = leading cause of death and #2 = 2nd leading cause of death.

Data Sources

  • Death Certificate Database, Office of Vital Statistics and Registry, New Jersey Department of Health
  • Population Estimates, State Data Center, New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, []

References and Community Resources

U.S. Statistics, Data, and Related Documentation are available from the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics on these websites: National Vital Statistics System: [] Mortality Data: [] Datasets and Related Documentation for Mortality Data: [] Instruction Manuals: []

Page Content Updated On 02/15/2019, Published on 02/15/2019
The information provided above is from the Department of Health's NJSHAD web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Sat, 23 March 2019 3:30:52 from Department of Health, New Jersey State Health Assessment Data Web site: ".

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