The objective of this study was to compare the mortality pattern of colorectal cancer according to the social development profile of the large Brazilian cities. This was an ecological study that used as units of analysis Brazilian municipalities that were considered to be large (i.e. over 100,000 inhabitants). The social indicators adopted were obtained from the Atlas of Human Development in Brazil. Mortality data came from the Mortality Information System (MIS), represented by codes C18, C19, and C20. For data analysis, municipalities were characterised according to the indicator profile used by multivariate classification cluster analysis. It was observed that the Southeast, South, and Midwest regions concentrated over 90% of cities in the group of more developed municipalities, while the North and Northeast regions were represented by 60% of cities in the group of less developed municipalities. The mortality pattern of colorectal cancer in both groups was different, with a higher average mortality rate from colorectal cancer for populations living in cities from the more developed group (p = 0.02). The mortality rate from this cancer was shown to be directly proportional to the Municipal Human Developlemnt Index (MHDI) and inversely proportional to the inequality indicator (p < 0.001); therefore the highest means were observed among the municipalities with better socioeconomic conditions. It is important to consider social disparities to ensure equity in healthcare policy management.