Footnote(s): (a) Crude death rate per 100,000 estimated resident population as at 30 June.
Source(s): ABS 2010, Causes of Death, 2008 (cat. no. 3303.0)
Source(s): ABS 2010, Causes of Death, 2008 and 2006 (cat. no. 3303.0)
The suicide rate is a widely used indicator of social cohesion, as is the prevalence of drug-induced deaths. While such deaths can occur for many reasons, and many complex factors might influence a person’s decision to suicide, these preventable deaths point to individuals who may be less connected to support networks (OECD 2001a). For instance, they may be less inclined to seek help or may be less intimately connected to people who might otherwise be aware of problems or step in to assist.
Men suicide at a higher rate than women, and the male suicide rate is more volatile than that for females. The male suicide rate has declined gradually over the last decade and was at 16 deaths per 100,000 males in 2008. The female rate has remained at around five deaths per 100,000 females since the late 1990s, declining gradually from six per 100,000 females in 1997.
Young men suicide at a higher rate than young females. In 2008, men aged 20-24 years were particularly vulnerable to suicide, with a rate of around 19 suicides per 100,000 males in 2008. This is a higher rate than for young men aged 15-19 years (around 9 suicides per 100,000 men) or for young women (3 suicides per 100,000 women aged 15-19 years and 5 per 100,000 women aged 20-24 years).
Of all people, middle aged men and older men suicide at the highest rate. In 2008, men aged 40-44 years had the highest suicide rate at just over 26 deaths per 100,000 males. Men aged 85 years and over also had a suicide rate of 26 deaths per 100,000 males.
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