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The highest age-specific suicide death rate for males in 2009 was observed in the 85 years and over age group (28.2 per 100,000 population). As a proportion of total male deaths in this age group, suicide deaths represented 0.2%. The age-specific death rate for 40-44 year old males was 22.9 per 100,000, and 22.7 per 100,000 for 35-39 year old males. Suicides as a proportion of total male deaths for these age groups were 13.8% and 18.5% respectively. The age-specific suicide rate for males was lowest in the 15-19 year age group (9.3 per 100,000). It should be noted that while this age-specific suicide rate is low in comparison to older age groups, suicide accounted for 19.0% of all deaths of males aged 15-19.
For females the highest age-specific suicide death rate in 2009 was observed in the 50-54 year age group with 8.8 deaths per 100,000. The lowest age-specific death rate for female deaths was in the 15-19 year age group (3.4 deaths per 100,000).
Age standardisation is used to compare death rates over time, as it accounts for any changes in the age-structure of a population over time. The age-standardised suicide rate (for persons) in 2009 was 9.6 per 100,000. This compares with 12.3 per 100,000 in 2000. The age-standardised suicide rate in 2009 for males was 14.9 per 100,000 while the corresponding rate for females was 4.4 per 100,000.