Skip directly to searchSkip directly to the site navigationSkip directly to the page's main content

Death Rates for the 2020 New Mexico Overall 10 Leading Causes of Death by Year and Cause of Death, New Mexico, 2000 to 2020

Indicator Report Data View Options

Why Is This Important?

Death rates by leading causes of death show areas where health improvement and prevention programs could be targeted to reduce the greatest number of deaths.

The causes of death shown in the line chart and data table are the 10 leading causes of death in New Mexico in 2020. The NM death rates for those same causes for earlier years are also shown for comparison. The multi-colored grid shows the 10 leading causes of death in New Mexico for each calendar year. The 10 leading causes of death, ranked in order of highest numbers of New Mexico deaths in 2020 were as follows: heart disease, cancer, COVID-19, unintentional injuries, chronic lower respiratory disease, stroke, diabetes, chronic liver disease, Alzheimer's disease, and suicide. COVID-19 took an enormous toll on New Mexicans in 2020. Aside from COVID-19, the rankings have been relatively stable over time, with increases in unintentional injuries (which includes opioid overdose), and chronic liver disease and cirrhosis and a decrease in cancer deaths.
supplemental image
To view the colored grid image, zoom-in using your browser, or right-click on the image to copy it, and paste it into another program.


Death rates for the leading causes of death are the number of deaths per 100,000 New Mexico population from each cause, ranked according to the number of deaths.

Data Notes

  • Rates have been age-adjusted using the direct method and the 2000 U.S. standard population.
  • The leading causes in the colored grid, below, were ranked by the age-adjusted death rates.

Data Sources

  • New Mexico Death Data: Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics (BVRHS), Epidemiology and Response Division, New Mexico Department of Health.
  • New Mexico Population Estimates: University of New Mexico, Geospatial and Population Studies (GPS) Program.

How the Measure is Calculated

Numerator:Number of deaths from the specified cause
Denominator:Total population

Data Issues

  • Death Certificate Data

    Death certificate information is submitted electronically by funeral directors, who obtain demographic information from an informant, a close family member of the decedent. The NMDOH Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics (BVRHS) does annual trainings for funeral directors and local registrars and the death certificate information goes through extensive scrutiny for completeness and consistency. The cause of death is certified by the decedent's physician or the physician that attended the death. Accidental and suspicious deaths are certified by the Office of the Medical Investigator. When death certificates are received the cause of death literals are keyed into software locally by the BVRHS, then shipped to the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) where they are machine coded into ICD-10 cause-of-death codes. NCHS returns the ICD-10 codes to BVRHS where the death records are updated.

  • New Mexico Population Estimates

    All population estimates apply to July 1 of the selected year. These estimates are considered the most accurate estimates for the state of New Mexico and should match those found on the University of New Mexico Geospatial and Population Studies website. Estimates include decimal fractions. Census tract population estimates were summed to produce County and Small Area population estimates. Population estimate totals may vary due to rounding. Population estimates for previous years are occasionally revised as new information becomes available. When publishing trend data, always be sure that your rates for earlier years match current rates on NM-IBIS that have been calculated with the most up-to-date population estimates.

Health Topic Pages Related to: Death Rates from Leading Causes of Death

Community Health Resources and Links

Medical literature can be queried at the PubMed website.

Indicator Data Last Updated On 11/09/2022, Published on 11/09/2022
Community Health Assessment Program, Epidemiology and Response Division, New Mexico Department of Health, 1190 S. Saint Francis Drive, P.O. Box 26110, Santa Fe, NM, 87502. Contact Rena Manning at