3309.0 - Suicides, Australia, 2010  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/07/2012   
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24 July 2012
Embargoed: 11.30 am (AEST)
Suicide rates down over a decade

The suicide rate in Australia has decreased by 17% over the past decade, from 12.7 to 10.5 deaths per 100,000 people, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Suicide remains the leading cause of death among Australians between 15 and 34 years of age. Suicide rates for males in this age group have decreased over the past 10 years, with decreases of 34% for 15-24 year olds, and 46% for 25-34 year olds, while for other age groups the suicide rate has remained more stable. There has been little change in the suicide rate for females across all age groups over the past decade. Males account for approximately 3 in 4 suicide deaths.

New South Wales was found to have the lowest suicide rate at 8.6 deaths per 100,000 people for the period 2006-2010, while suicide rates were highest in the Northern Territory at 20.2 deaths per 100,000 people for the same period. Rural areas were found to have a higher suicide rate than capital city statistical divisions.

Suicide rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are approximately twice those of non-Indigenous Australians. Rates are particularly high amongst younger (15-34 year old) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The age-specific suicide rate for 25-29 year old Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males was 90.8 deaths per 100,000 people for the combined 10 year period.

Further information is available in Suicide, Australia, 2001-2010.

If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, call Lifeline (13 11 14), Suicide Call Back Service (1300 659 467) or Kids Helpline (for young people aged 5 to 25 years) (1800 551 800)

Media notes:

  • Care should be taken when reporting suicide deaths in the media. Please refer to the Mindframe website for further guidance.
  • Care should be taken when interpreting figures relating to suicide and when comparing 2010 suicide data with previous years. See Explanatory notes 28-32, 48-60 and 80-83 for further information.
  • ‘Suicide' includes International Classification of Diseases codes X60-X84 and Y87.0.
  • Leading causes of death data is compiled as per World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations. See Explanatory notes 39-41 for further information.
  • The national and state/territory suicide rates presented in this media release are age-standardised. Other rates presented are age-specific.
  • Age-standardised death rates allow comparisons of populations and take into account changes in population structure and size over time. See Causes of Death, Australia (cat. no. 3303.0) Explanatory notes 53-55 for further information.
  • When reporting ABS statistics, please attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) as the source.