1. Injury and Violence Prevention

  2. What’s the Story?

    Maintaining a healthy environment is central to increasing quality of life and years of healthy life. Regardless of age, gender, race, or income level, injury is a major cause of death and disability in New Jersey. In 2016, unintentional injury was the third leading cause of death overall, resulting in over 3,800 deaths. These deaths are a result of a variety of injuries including motor vehicle crashes and falls, but in recent years the numbers have been driven up by drug overdoses.  Between 700 and 800 New Jersey residents die annually from suicide and approximately 400 from homicide.  Injuries are generally not random and uncontrollable events, and they can often be prevented.

  3. By the Numbers

    Unintentional poisoning (overdose) has overtaken motor vehicle crashes as the leading cause of injury death in New Jersey. The death rate is highest among males who are almost three times as likely to die from an overdose than females. Additionally, motor vehicle crashes are the second leading cause of injury in New Jersey. Rates are highest among young adults and the elderly, and 70% of motor vehicle-related fatalities are among males. Each year there are approximately 274,000 motor vehicle crashes in New Jersey, and approximately 600 deaths. 

    Violence is another leading cause of injury and death, and a major public health problem in the United States and in New Jersey. Homicide is the second leading cause of death among persons ages 15 to 24. In New Jersey, there is an average of 400 homicides per year. Homicide victims are predominantly male, accounting for approximately 80% of homicides in New Jersey.

  4. Our Strategy

    The New Jersey Violent Death Reporting System (NJVDRS) was established and is maintained through a cooperative agreement with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and is housed in the NJDOH Center for Health Statistics (CHS). The NJVDRS is a violence surveillance system that links data from death certificates, medical examiners, and police reports to create a rich dataset that is timelier than traditional death certificate data alone. NJVDRS data have been used by NJDOH, other State Departments, local health and community groups, and researchers at academic institutions in New Jersey to support intervention and prevention programs, grant proposals, and state and collaborative initiatives to reduce the number of deaths due to violence. An example of this inter-departmental approach comes from collaboration with the Department of Children and Families and the New Jersey Youth Suicide Prevention Advisory Council to develop a Youth Suicide Prevention Plan, and again used NJVDRS data to assess progress toward their objectives.

    New Jersey Department of Health has also been awarded funds from CDC to aid in responding to the opioid overdose crisis. Under Healthcare Quality and Informatics, Prevention for States: Data-Driven Prevention Initiative (PfS:DDPI) seeks to identify programs and policies that will support efforts to prevent and reduce opioid overdose, misuse, and abuse through the effective use of data. The Center for Health Statistics has been funded to conduct surveillance on fatal and non-fatal opioid overdoses through the implementation of Enhanced State Opioid-Involved Overdose Surveillance (ESOOS), which leverages the existing NJVDRS infrastructure and staff to gain further insights for opioid-involved overdose deaths.

  5. Did you know

    Homicide victims in New Jersey are disproportionately young black males. Among female homicide victims, nearly 40% are killed by a current or former intimate partner. 

    The most recent annual suicide count among New Jersey residents is 687 (in 2016).

  6. To Learn More


Progress Toward Goal

* Rate per 100,000 population

Only one year of data currently available

Exceeding Goal
At/Making progress toward Goal
Making less progress toward Goal than expected
Not progressing toward Goal
Negative progression toward Goal

Last Reviewed: 6/25/2018