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The median age at death for Suicide in 2008 was 42.4 years for males, 43.5 years for females and 42.7 years overall. In comparison, the median age for deaths from all causes in 2008 was 77.9 years for males, 83.9 years for females and 80.9 years overall.
Age-specific death rates are the number of deaths during the reference year at a specified age per 100,000 of the estimated resident population of the same age (see Glossary for further information). The pattern of age-specific rates in 2008 for Suicide in males and females is shown in the following graph.
The highest age-specific Suicide death rate for males in 2008 was observed in the 40-44 year age group (26.4 per 100,000 population). As a proportion of total male deaths in this age group, Suicide deaths represented 16%. The age-specific death rates for the 85+ years age group was 26.2 per 100,000 males, and 24.5 per 100,000 males in the 45-49 year age group. Suicide as a proportion of total male deaths for these age groups were 0.2% and 10% respectively. The age-specific Suicide rate for males was lowest in the 15-24 year age group (9.4 per 100,000), however, this represented 20% of all deaths in this age group.
For females the highest age-specific Suicide death rate in 2008 was observed in the 50-54 year age group with 8.6 deaths per 100,000. The lowest age-specific death rate for female Suicide deaths was in the 80-84 year age groups (2.0 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 2008 was 10.2 per 100,000. This compares with 13.2 per 100,000 in 1999.
The age-standardised Suicide rate in 2008 for males was 16.0 per 100,000 while the corresponding rate for females was 4.5 per 100,000. Throughout the period 1999 to 2008, the male age-standardised Suicide death rate was approximately four times higher than the corresponding female rate, as can be seen in the following graph.