In this paper we describe the contours of the mortality transition taking place in the Netherlands between the mid-nineteenth century and the end of the twentieth century.
First of all, an overview is given of the published statistical data that can be used to describe the mortality evolution.
Next, information is presented on the development of our main mortality parameter, the expectation of life at birth for males and females.
The changes in the age and sex patterns of mortality are described, making use of contour
maps and decomposition techniques.
Then the long-term trends in mortality by cause of death are described, focusing on the most relevant cause-of-death categories.