A communicable disease is one that spreads from one person to another – or from an animal to a person. They were a major cause of death in the 19th century, and in 1876 were responsible for over half of all deaths for non-Māori females and just under half for non-Māori males. By the early 20th century communicable diseases were a much less common cause of death for Pākehā. However, Māori were still adversely affected well into the 20th century – over half of all Māori deaths were due to these diseases in 1945. By 1976 they caused less than 10% of non-Māori deaths and just under 20% of Māori deaths. The percentage of deaths from non-communicable diseases like cancer rose correspondingly over this period.
Using this item
This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.
Source: I. Pool, 'Mortality trends and differentials.’ In The population of New Zealand, vol. 1. New York: United Nations, 1985, pp. 209–242.