Care should be taken in using and interpreting suicide data contained within this publication due to limitations in data quality. For further information refer to Explanatory Notes 57-58 and 74-75.
Suicide continues to be a major public health issue. In terms of leading causes, Intentional self-harm (X60-X84, Y87.0) or suicide, was ranked 15th of all deaths registered in Australia in 2006. Males accounted for over three-quarters of all suicide deaths in 2006, resulting in a ranking as the 11th leading cause of death of males in 2006. Although death by suicide is a relatively uncommon event (occurring at a rate of about 1 per 10,000 population per year), the human and economic costs are substantial.
Suicide can be defined as the deliberate taking of one's life1. To be classified as a suicide, a death must be recognised as being due to other than natural causes. It must also be established by coronial enquiry that the death resulted from a deliberate act of the deceased with the intention of ending his or her own life.
This chapter contains summary statistics on deaths registered in Australia between 1997 and 2006 (the most recent year for which data are available), where the underlying cause of death was determined as intentional self-harm (X60-X84) or suicide. Data on deaths from suicide are presented disaggregated by sex, age, method of suicide and state or territory of usual residence.