• Trends in national mortality rates •  

Graphs showing time trends in mortality rates

Percentage of deaths at age 60-69 that were ill-defined, both

sexes combined, for Mexico and 7 other countries: 1950s-2000s

Graph showing ill-defined mortality in Mexico

Comment: If the cause of death is unknown, or known too imprecisely, then it is considered to be ill-defined. Some ill-defined deaths are inevitable, but some others are the result of poor death-coding practices. The higher the proportion of deaths that have an ill-defined cause, the greater the undercounting of known, defined, causes of death.

This graph shows the proportion of male and female deaths at age 60-69 years that had an ill-defined cause. Since the early 1990s about 1% of the Mexican deaths have had an ill-defined cause, which is similar to the proportions during that period in the United States and Japan, and much lower than the proportions in France and Germany. Until 1974, however, more than 10% of the Mexican deaths were ill-defined, and until 1982, at least 5% were.

For an assessment of how complete and precise death certification is in different countries, see Counting the dead and what they died from... (Mathers et al., Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 2005:83:171-7).

WHO mortality rates for particular countries, ages and causes of death