Births and Deaths: Year ended March 2011 – Media Release
The Pike River disaster impacted on deaths among the male working age group in the West Coast region in the March 2011 year, Statistics New Zealand said today.
"Around 60 West Coast men aged 15–64 years died in the March 2011 year, up from 30 in 2010," Population Statistics manager Andrea Blackburn said. "Deaths in the West Coast region numbered 280 in the March year 2011, compared with an annual average of 260 in the previous 10 years."
Statistics NZ's deaths data are generally published based on the date of registration not the date of death. March quarter 2011 deaths include the victims of the Pike River mining disaster. These deaths were registered following an inquest on 27 January 2011 when the Chief Coroner Judge Neil MacLean ruled that the deaths of all 29 men occurred on 19 November 2010.
There were more deaths in the Canterbury region in the March 2011 year (up 300 from 4,170 in 2010 to 4,470). There were 1,150 deaths registered in the March 2011 quarter, up 200 from 950 in 2010. Registrations up until the end of March 2011 indicate that 140 Cantabrians died on 22 February 2011 compared with 10 in 2010. Many were victims of the Christchurch earthquake.
Not all of the March quarter increase in deaths for Canterbury can be directly attributed to the Christchurch earthquake. Between 1 January and 21 February 2011, 580 Cantabrians died, up 50 (or 9 percent) on the same period in 2010. Between 23 February and 21 March 2011, 310 Cantabrians died, up 60 (or 26 percent) on the same period in 2010.
Regional figures are based on the usual residence of the deceased not the place of death. Statistics NZ does not compile statistics on place of death.
Nationally, 29,110 deaths were registered during the March 2011 year, up 260 from 28,840 in 2010. There were 410 fewer deaths registered between April and December 2010 but 670 more in the March 2011 quarter, compared with the same period in the previous year. In the March 2011 quarter more deaths were registered in January (up 180), February (up 260), and March (up 230) when compared with the same month in 2010. The number of deaths is gradually increasing due to population growth in the older age groups, partly offset by longer life expectancy. Statistics NZ's mid-range population projections (series 5) indicate deaths will continue to increase, surpassing 40,000 in 2029 and 50,000 in 2042.
During the March 2011 quarter more deaths were recorded among those aged 15–64 years (up 180 or 13 percent), and those aged 65 years and over (up 490 or 10 percent). The increase was greatest among those aged 90 years and over (up 250 or 26 percent).
Statistics NZ's births and deaths data from 1991 onwards are based on the resident population. This means that overseas visitors are excluded from standard tables. In general, overseas visitors make up only a small proportion of all deaths in New Zealand (an average of about 150 per year, or 5 per 1,000 in the last 10 years). There tend to be more visitor deaths in the March quarter when the average number of daily visitors is at its highest. An average of 60 overseas visitors died in New Zealand in the March quarters between 2001 and 2010 compared with 80 in the March 2011 quarter.
| Geoff Bascand, Government Statistician
||17 May 2011|