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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 2017 as in 2016. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US, New Jersey, and each NJ county, except Hunterdon and Salem. 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, 2000-2017]

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 and kidney disease.

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, 2017

Cause of DeathPercent of DeathsNumer- ator
Record Count: 11
Heart Disease25.2%18,842
Unintentional Injury6.0%4,484
Alzheimer's Disease3.8%2,830
Kidney Disease2.1%1,591
Influenza and Pneumonia1.8%1,337
All Other Causes25.4%19,027

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., 2017

US/NJCause of DeathDeaths per 100,000 Standardized PopulationLower LimitUpper LimitNumer- ator
Record Count: 20
USHeart Disease165.0164.6165.4647,457
USUnintentional Injury49.449.249.6169,936
USAlzheimer's Disease31.030.931.2121,404
USKidney Disease13.012.913.150,633
USInfluenza and Pneumonia14.314.214.455,672
NJHeart Disease162.3159.7165.018,842
NJUnintentional Injury47.345.948.74,484
NJAlzheimer's Disease23.622.624.62,830
NJKidney Disease13.913.114.71,591
NJInfluenza and Pneumonia11.711.012.41,337

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, 2017

Leading Causes of DeathCountyPercent of DeathsNoteNumer- atorDenom- inator
Record Count: 46
Heart DiseaseAtlantic27.1%#17312,702
Heart DiseaseBergen25.7%#11,8877,332
Heart DiseaseBurlington24.0%#11,0084,202
Heart DiseaseCamden23.9%#11,1814,949
Heart DiseaseCape May25.8%#13431,331
Heart DiseaseCumberland26.1%#14271,636
Heart DiseaseEssex23.5%#11,4346,105
Heart DiseaseGloucester24.8%#16902,778
Heart DiseaseHudson25.4%#19743,842
Heart DiseaseHunterdon25.2%#2224890
Heart DiseaseMercer24.1%#16872,849
Heart DiseaseMiddlesex24.7%#11,5036,097
Heart DiseaseMonmouth25.4%#11,3995,515
Heart DiseaseMorris24.4%#19573,920
Heart DiseaseOcean28.7%#12,1427,451
Heart DiseasePassaic24.4%#19383,838
Heart DiseaseSalem24.7%#2180728
Heart DiseaseSomerset23.5%#15792,459
Heart DiseaseSussex24.5%#13061,247
Heart DiseaseUnion24.5%#19713,963
Heart DiseaseWarren26.8%#12811,047
Heart DiseaseNew Jersey25.2%#118,84274,881
Heart DiseaseUnited States23.0%#1647,4572,813,503
CancerCape May24.8%#23301,331
CancerNew Jersey21.7%#216,26274,881
CancerUnited States21.3%#2599,1082,813,503

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 05/07/2019, Published on 05/07/2019
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 Tue, 18 June 2019 9:38:48 from Department of Health, New Jersey State Health Assessment Data Web site: ".

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