3309.0.55.001 - Suicides: Recent Trends, Australia, 1992 to 2002  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 02/12/2003   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All
  • Explanatory Notes


Suicide can be defined as the deliberate taking of one's life. To be classified as a suicide a death must be recognised as 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. Possible suicides where the coroner concludes an 'open' finding, and not explicitly suicide, are excluded.


All suicide data in this publication are based on year of registration. Data based on year of occurrence are also available on request. Most suicide deaths were registered in the same year in which the death occurred, or the year immediately following. The number of suicide deaths registered after the second year was extremely small. There were only slight differences between age-standardised rates calculated by year of registration and those calculated by year of occurrence. In general, both ways of presenting the data lead to similar conclusions. More information is available in the Information Paper Suicides, Australia, 2001 (ABS Cat. No. 3309.0.55.001), which was published in February 2003.


In this publication, suicide deaths data for registration years 1992-1996 were coded to the Ninth Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-9) and data for registration years 1997-2002 were coded to the Tenth Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10). For suicide deaths, ICD-9 and ICD-10 classifications are comparable.

Method of suicideICD-9 codes (a)ICD-10 codes(b)

Poisoning by drugsE950.0 - E950.5X60 - X64
Poisoning by "other"
(includes motor vehicle exhaust)
E950.6 - E952.9X65 - X69
Hanging, strangulation, and suffocationE953X70
Firearms and explosivesE955X72 - X75
Other (Includes drowning, cutting and piercing instruments, jumping from high places and other and unspecified means)E954, E956 - E959X71, X76 - X84

Suicides (total)E950 - E959X60 - X84

(a) ICD-9 codes used for 1992-1996 data in this publication
(b) ICD-10 codes used for 1997-2002 data in this publication


Age-standardised rates enable the comparison of rates between populations with different age structures by relating them to a standard population. Age-standardised rates in this publication were calculated using direct standardisation. Five year age groups (0-4, 5-9,.... 85 and over) were used and a small number of records were excluded from the calculations, where age was not stated. The standard population was the 2001 Estimated Resident Population for Australia.


Estimated Resident Populations used in the calculation of rates in this publication were current at the time of publication. Estimated Resident Populations are subject to revision. Small changes in estimates of resident populations in specific age groups may cause slight changes in age-specific or age-standardised rates calculated using those populations. Thus, there may be slight differences between rates published in this publication and rates for the same time period(s) published elsewhere.