3303.0 - Causes of Death, Australia, 2017 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 26/03/2019   
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UPDATES TO 2015 AND 2016 SUICIDE DATA 
This note was released on 26 March, 2019.


1 Revisions have now been applied to 2015 and 2016 data. As part of processing causes of death data the ABS undertakes a revisions process to reflect the latest available information. From the 2015 reference period these revisions have been applied 18 and 30 months after initial processing. Prior to this, causes were updated at 12 and 24 months (for more information see 2015 Final Data (Technical Note) and 2016 Revised Data (Technical Note) in this publication). As coronial investigations regarding suicide deaths can be extensive, it is a cause of death which may be more heavily impacted by revisions. It is important from a public health perspective to have accurate counts of suicide deaths. As such, this technical note focusses on how the revisions process has changed suicide counts in 2015 and 2016. 

2 Over time there has been a reduction in the number of deaths that are reassigned to suicide through the revision process. In 2006 and 2007, the first years for which revisions were applied, the number of suicide deaths increased by 17.7% and 18.5%, respectively. In 2015, the final suicide count was only 2.2% higher than the preliminary count. Several factors have impacted on the increased quality of preliminary data, including enhanced coding practices, enabling greater use of documents available on the National Coronial Information System (NCIS) and more timely report attachment.

2015 final suicide count


3 The final number of suicide deaths recorded for 2015 was 3,093, a net increase of 66 suicide deaths (2.2%) from the preliminary count of 3,027. There was an increase of 38 suicide deaths over the first revision period and a further 28 suicides identified in the second revision period. 

4 There are often questions or concerns raised about which causes are initially assigned to deaths later identified as suicide deaths through the revisions process. Deaths which have been reassigned to suicide through the revisions process were most likely to be coded to an Event of undetermined intent (Y10-Y34) (39 deaths) or Accidental poisoning (X40-X44) (20 deaths) when initially coded. There were 17 deaths that were initially coded to Other ill-defined and unspecified causes of mortality (R99) and later identified as suicide deaths through the revisions process. There were also some minor changes in the recorded mechanism of death associated with additional information becoming available, especially toxicology and pathology reports. 

2016 revised suicide count


5 The revised number of suicide deaths in 2016 was 2,911, a net increase of 45 suicide deaths (1.6%) over the first year of the revisions process. Most deaths reassigned to suicide were initially coded to Accidental poisoning (X40-X44) (19 deaths). Comparable to 2015, 15 deaths were reassigned from Other ill-defined and unspecified causes of mortality (R99). The table below shows the total suicide counts for Australia at each stage of the revisions process for 2015 and 2016. 

Count of suicide deaths throughout revisions - 2015 and 2016(a)(b)(c)

Preliminary
Revised
Final
Cause of death and ICD-10 code
no
no
no

2015
3,027
3,065
3,093
2016
2,866
2,911
na

na not applicable
(a) Intentional self-harm includes ICD-10 codes X60-X84 and Y87.0. Care needs to be taken in interpreting figures relating to suicide. See Explanatory Notes 91-100.
(b) All causes of death data from 2006 onward are subject to a revisions process - once data for a reference year are 'final', they are no longer revised. Affected data in this table are: 2015 (final) and 2016 (revised). See Explanatory Notes 57-60 and 2015 Final Data (Technical Note) and 2016 Revised Data (Technical Note) in this publication.
(c) Since 2015 the release of Causes of Death, Australia has occurred 6 months earlier, representing a significant change in processing of the national mortality dataset. For further information regarding changes to ABS coding processes, see A More Timely Annual Collection: Changes to ABS Processes (Technical Note) in Causes of Death, Australia, 2015 (cat. no. 3303.0).

6 The number and age-standardised death rate of deaths due to intentional self-harm by state and territory from 2008 to 2017 are shown in the tables below. These tables provide an updated time series that includes the revisions for 2015 and 2016 and should now be used in preference to those published in September 2018. A more detailed table which includes revised suicide counts by mechanism (ICD-10 codes X60-X84 and Y870) are provided in the Revisions data cube in the Downloads tab of this publication. Further tabulations are available on request. Please contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070. 

Intentional self-harm, number of deaths, states and territories, 2008-2017(a)(b)(c)(d)

2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017

MALES
NSW
477
466
520
465
526
523
620
637
622
683
Vic.
429
434
426
401
391
394
509
514
459
445
Qld
440
415
441
438
477
519
498
579
533
609
SA
129
138
157
167
150
152
186
170
164
164
WA
237
218
250
229
271
252
277
295
267
304
Tas.
60
59
47
51
57
54
56
66
68
60
NT
31
31
39
38
41
22
33
31
39
38
ACT
30
23
34
23
17
28
28
36
20
44
Australia(d)
1,833
1,785
1,914
1,812
1,930
1,944
2,208
2,329
2,173
2,348
FEMALES
NSW
143
157
154
152
201
195
212
202
196
197
Vic.
116
142
132
125
123
139
149
164
180
176
Qld
113
110
147
140
154
157
160
182
156
195
SA
46
47
40
45
48
51
57
64
61
60
WA
63
61
63
80
96
84
90
107
103
105
Tas.
13
20
17
23
14
20
13
18
26
20
NT
7
6
6
6
7
11
23
17
8
13
ACT
6
9
7
10
7
9
10
10
8
14
Australia(d)
508
552
566
581
650
666
714
764
738
780
PERSONS
NSW
620
623
674
617
727
718
832
839
818
880
Vic.
545
576
558
526
514
533
658
678
639
621
Qld
553
525
588
578
631
676
658
761
689
804
SA
175
185
197
212
198
203
243
234
225
224
WA
300
279
313
309
367
336
367
402
370
409
Tas.
73
79
64
74
71
74
69
84
94
80
NT
38
37
45
44
48
33
56
48
47
51
ACT
36
32
41
33
24
37
38
46
28
58
Australia(d)
2,341
2,337
2,480
2,393
2,580
2,610
2,922
3,093
2,911
3,128

(a) Intentional self-harm includes ICD-10 codes X60-X84 and Y87.0. Care needs to be taken in interpreting figures relating to suicide. See Explanatory Notes 91-100.
(b) All causes of death data from 2006 onward are subject to a revisions process - once data for a reference year are 'final', they are no longer revised. Affected data in this table are: 2008-2015 (final), 2016 (revised), 2017 (preliminary). See Explanatory Notes 57-60 and 2015 Final Data (Technical Note) and 2016 Revised Data (Technical Note) in this publication.
(c) Since 2015 the release of Causes of Death, Australia has occurred 6 months earlier, representing a significant change in processing of the national mortality dataset. For further information regarding changes to ABS coding processes, see A More Timely Annual Collection: Changes to ABS Processes (Technical Note) in Causes of Death, Australia, 2015 (cat. no. 3303.0).
(d) Includes Other territories.

Intentional self-harm, age-standardised death rates, states and territories, 2008-2017(a)(b)(c)(d)

2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017

MALES
NSW
13.9
13.4
14.7
12.9
14.5
14.1
16.5
16.8
16.1
17.3
Vic.
16.3
16.1
15.6
14.3
13.9
13.5
17.1
17.2
14.7
14.0
Qld
21.2
19.5
20.4
19.9
21.2
22.7
21.4
24.9
22.4
25.2
SA
16.5
17.4
19.1
20.4
18.0
18.0
22.4
19.4
19.5
18.8
WA
21.6
19.3
21.7
19.1
22.1
19.8
21.7
22.9
20.8
23.6
Tas.
25.8
24.0
19.6
20.2
22.1
21.4
21.8
25.7
25.9
23.7
NT
27.5
28.1
31.6
30.5
31.0
18.5
24.6
27.2
31.5
28.8
ACT
16.6
13.1
19.2
14.0
8.7
14.6
14.5
17.9
10.8
21.8
Australia
17.4
16.5
17.5
16.2
17.0
16.8
18.8
19.7
18.0
19.1
FEMALES
NSW
4.0
4.3
4.2
4.0
5.3
5.1
5.4
5.3
5.0
4.8
Vic.
4.3
5.1
4.6
4.3
4.4
4.6
4.9
5.3
5.7
5.4
Qld
5.3
5.0
6.6
6.2
6.8
6.7
6.7
7.5
6.3
7.8
SA
5.6
5.8
4.7
5.5
5.7
6.0
6.5
7.5
7.3
7.0
WA
5.9
5.4
5.4
6.7
7.9
6.7
7.2
8.4
7.9
8.1
Tas.
np
7.6
np
8.9
np
7.4
np
np
9.2
7.7
NT
np
np
np
np
np
np
18.5
np
np
np
ACT
np
np
np
np
np
np
np
np
np
np
Australia
4.7
5.0
5.0
5.1
5.6
5.6
6.0
6.3
6.0
6.2
PERSONS
NSW
8.8
8.7
9.3
8.4
9.8
9.5
10.8
10.9
10.4
10.9
Vic.
10.2
10.5
10.1
9.2
9.0
8.9
10.9
11.1
10.1
9.6
Qld
13.2
12.1
13.4
12.9
13.9
14.6
14.0
16.0
14.2
16.3
SA
11.0
11.5
11.8
12.9
11.7
11.9
14.4
13.3
13.3
12.8
WA
13.8
12.3
13.6
12.9
14.9
13.3
14.4
15.6
14.4
15.8
Tas.
15.0
15.4
13.0
14.1
13.7
14.2
12.8
16.2
17.3
15.6
NT
17.5
17.4
18.8
18.5
19.2
14.3
21.7
20.3
19.6
20.3
ACT
10.1
8.9
11.3
9.3
6.2
9.6
9.8
11.4
7.2
14.1
Australia
10.9
10.7
11.2
10.5
11.2
11.1
12.3
12.9
11.9
12.6

np not available for publication but included in totals where applicable, unless otherwise indicated.
(a) Intentional self-harm includes ICD-10 codes X60-X84 and Y87.0. Care needs to be taken in interpreting figures relating to suicide. See Explanatory Notes 91-100.
(b) All causes of death data from 2006 onward are subject to a revisions process - once data for a reference year are 'final', they are no longer revised. Affected data in this table are: 2008-2015 (final), 2016 (revised), 2017 (preliminary). See Explanatory Notes 57-60 and 2015 Final Data (Technical Note) and 2016 Revised Data (Technical Note) in this publication.
(c) Since 2015 the release of Causes of Death, Australia has occurred 6 months earlier, representing a significant change in processing of the national mortality dataset. For further information regarding changes to ABS coding processes, see A More Timely Annual Collection: Changes to ABS Processes (Technical Note) in Causes of Death, Australia, 2015 (cat. no. 3303.0).
(c) Age-standardised death rates (SDRs) enable the comparison of death rates between populations with different age structures. The SDRs in this table are presented on a per 100,000 population basis, using the estimated mid-year population (30 June) for each year. See Explanatory Notes 44-47 and the Glossary in Causes of Death, Australia, 2017 (cat. no. 3303.0) for further information.
(d) Age-standardised death rates for the 2012-2016 reference years have been calculated using 2016 Census-based population estimates. See Explanatory Notes 44-47.