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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?

The ten leading causes of death in New Jersey remained the same in 2019 as in 2018. Heart disease was the leading cause of death and cancer was the second leading cause of death in the US, New Jersey, and each NJ county, except Hunterdon where cancer was #1. Together, these two causes of death account for nearly half of all deaths in a typical year. Unintentional injury, stroke, chronic lower respiratory diseases (CLRD), Alzheimer's disease, septicemia, diabetes, kidney disease, and influenza/pneumonia rounded out the remainder of the ten leading causes of death for New Jersey. 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, 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. In 2018, diabetes switched places with septicemia again. [ Table of leading causes of death for each year, 2000-2019]

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

Suicide was the tenth leading cause of death in the US in 2019, but was 14th in New Jersey. New Jersey's 7th leading cause of death, septicemia, was 12th in the US in 2018. The other leading causes of death are in the Top 10 in both New Jersey and the US. The age-adjusted death rates in 2019 for New Jersey's ten leading causes of death were lower than those of the US for each cause except septicemia and kidney disease. The age-adjusted death rate due to unintentional injuries was the same for NJ and the US as a whole in 2019.

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, 2019

Cause of DeathPercent of DeathsNumer- ator
Record Count: 11
Heart Disease24.9%18,729
Unintentional Injury6.2%4,658
Alzheimer's Disease3.5%2,633
Kidney Disease2.2%1,622
Influenza and Pneumonia1.7%1,270
All Other Causes26.6%19,934

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., 2019

US/NJCause of DeathDeaths per 100,000 Standardized PopulationLower LimitUpper LimitNumer- ator
Record Count: 20
USHeart Disease161.5161.1161.9659,041
USUnintentional Injury49.349.049.5173,040
USAlzheimer's Disease29.829.730.0121,499
USKidney Disease12.712.612.851,565
USInfluenza and Pneumonia12.312.212.449,783
NJHeart Disease158.1155.5160.718,725
NJUnintentional Injury49.347.850.74,657
NJAlzheimer's Disease21.820.822.72,633
NJKidney Disease13.913.114.71,622
NJInfluenza and Pneumonia10.910.211.61,270

Data Sources

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Underlying Cause of Death File. CDC WONDER On-line Database accessed at []
  • 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

Leading Causes of Death: Percentages by County of Residence, New Jersey, 2019

Leading Causes of DeathCountyPercent of DeathsNumer- atorDenom- inator
Record Count: 46
Heart DiseaseAtlantic24.3%6892,836
Heart DiseaseBergen25.4%1,8897,429
Heart DiseaseBurlington25.0%1,0414,163
Heart DiseaseCamden22.9%1,1374,960
Heart DiseaseCape May24.2%3161,308
Heart DiseaseCumberland23.9%3881,625
Heart DiseaseEssex22.5%1,3415,958
Heart DiseaseGloucester25.6%7142,787
Heart DiseaseHudson23.2%8673,738
Heart DiseaseHunterdon23.8%221930
Heart DiseaseMercer25.7%7622,970
Heart DiseaseMiddlesex24.9%1,5016,020
Heart DiseaseMonmouth24.3%1,3705,633
Heart DiseaseMorris25.4%9983,930
Heart DiseaseOcean29.9%2,2077,387
Heart DiseasePassaic24.3%9233,800
Heart DiseaseSalem25.8%196759
Heart DiseaseSomerset24.1%6062,514
Heart DiseaseSussex24.9%3261,311
Heart DiseaseUnion24.1%9593,981
Heart DiseaseWarren26.7%2761,033
Heart DiseaseNew Jersey24.9%18,72575,076
Heart DiseaseUnited States23.1%659,0412,854,838
CancerCape May22.6%2961,308
CancerNew Jersey20.9%15,70475,076
CancerUnited States21.0%599,6012,854,838

Data Source

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

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 05/11/2021, Published on 05/11/2021
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 Mon, 15 August 2022 15:08:04 from Department of Health, New Jersey State Health Assessment Data Web site: ".

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