Comparing ethnicity on death registrations with ethnicity on birth registrations

6 Aug 2014

The ethnicities that are recorded on a person’s death registration do not always match the ethnicities that are recorded on their birth registration. This makes it harder to compare the death rates of different ethnic groups. The article also presents data on comparing the two registrations and discusses the implications for estimating death rates.

The recording of ethnicity on birth and death registrations

Birth and death registration forms have questions about ethnicity. Both forms allow respondents to record more than one ethnicity. Birth registrations are usually filled out by the child’s parents, but death registrations are usually filled out by the funeral director. Each ethnicity on the birth or death registration is coded to the most detailed level of the New Zealand standard classification. However, birth and death data, and the population estimates, projections, and rates derived from them, are generally published for broader ethnic groups, such as ‘Asian’, ‘European’, ‘Māori’, ‘Middle East, Latin American, or African’, ‘Pacific’, and ‘Not Specified’.


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