The number of deaths in New Zealand rose to 38,574 in 2022, Stats NZ said today.
This was a 10 percent increase in the number of registered deaths compared with 2021, when there were 34,932 deaths registered.
“The increased number of deaths in 2022 was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” population estimates and projections manager Michael MacAskill said.
Just under 2,400 deaths in 2022 were identified as people who died with the cause of death being attributable to COVID-19 by Manatū Hauora Ministry of Health on their COVID-19 dashboard.
“The increase in deaths also partly reflects our ageing population – there are increasing numbers and proportions of the population in older ages, where most deaths occur,” MacAskill said.
Nearly 2 in every 3 deaths in 2022 in New Zealand were for people aged 75 years or older, and 1 in every 5 deaths were to people aged 90 years or over.
Most years, life expectancy at birth in New Zealand increases slightly for both males and females.
However, the increased number of deaths over the last year has resulted in life expectancy at birth staying relatively flat.
“New Zealand’s life expectancy has plateaued, while in recent years it has dropped in many countries, including Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom,” MacAskill said.
OECD data shows that between 2018 and 2020, while New Zealand and Australia’s average life expectancy at birth increased slightly, it decreased in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Health at a Glance published by OECD, has more information about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on deaths and life expectancy.
Deaths registered from 2020 to 2022, used to calculate life expectancy in the latest period life tables, show that:
More information on life tables can be found in Births and deaths: Year ended December 2022.
Population projections indicate that life expectancy will return to a slow increase for both males and females. It is assumed to increase from 80.8 years in 2023 to 84.2 years in 2048 for males (an increase of 3.4 years of life), and from 84.1 years to 87.3 years for females (an increase of 3.2 years). See National population projections: 2022(base)–2073 for more information.