Suicide Statisics in Australia
  • In Australia, on average, 6 people suicide per day
  • 80% of all suicides are men
  • About 3% of all male deaths are due to suicide
  • Men between the ages 25 – 55 contribute mostly to suicide statistics
  • Suicide is the second most common cause of death in adolescents
  • Suicide is the most common cause of death between the ages 25 – 55 (DeLeo D, Evans R. (2004) International Suicide Rates and Prevention Strategies)
  • Each year, in Australia, there are more deaths from suicide than there are from motor vehicle accidents
  • For each completed suicide there are 10 – 15 people whose lives are changed forever and the impact may reach the next generation.
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The Australian statistics follow the same pattern. That is “The statistics for females are almost identical”. Please note that there are a considerable number of suicides in the elderly but suicide is a minor cause of death at this age due to the frequency of other causes of death.

Trends

Internationally, the rate of female suicide is falling across all age groups but the rate of male deaths has been increasing. However, in Australia the rate of adolescent and young adult male deaths has been declining since 1997 (DeLeo D, Evans R. (2004) International Suicide Rates and Prevention Strategies)

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Those At Risk

There is a lot of variation in the characteristics of those who suicide. However, overall, the feature that are most common is that they have a number of risk factors that have come together at a point in time. This applies to people who have attempted and completed suicide (Beautrais A. (2004) Risk and Protective Factors for Suicide for Men in the Middle Years. Cantrbury Suicide Project. NZ).

This shows that over 90% of people who suicide will have 2 – 7 major risk factors

Some of the major risk factor domains are:

  • Social and economic disadvantage, including low educational achievement and unemployment (De Leo D, Hickey P, Neulinger K, Cantor K. (1999) Ageing and suicide: A Report to the Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care. Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention, Griffith University.)
  • Childhood and family adversity
  • Individual characteristics
  • Mental disorders and substance abuse
  • Stresses and adverse circumstances, especially loss of physical health and loss of employment, marital breakdown, loss of custody of children and other interpersonal loss
  • Deliberate self harm or attempted suicide in the previous year (especially the first few months)
  • Knowledge of others who have suicided or family history of suicide
  • Ease of access to guns or other means (DeLeo D, Evans R. (2004) International Suicide Rates and Prevention Strategies.)
  • Workplace situations (eg. increased workload, bullying)

2004 Australian Suicide Statistics

  • 2098 suicides at an overall rate of 10.4 per 100,000 (a reduction of 6% from 2003)
  • Men
    • Highest Rate 29.2 Age 30-34
    • Lowest Rate 7.5 Age 15-19
  • Women
    • Highest Rate 7.1 Age 45-49
    • Lowest Rate 3.7 Age 70-74
  • 83% of Indigenous Suicides are under 34 years of age
  • Rate of Indigenous Male Suicide in Queensland is 115.0 per 100,000
  • Means of Suicide
    • Hanging 48%
    • Car 19%
    • Overdose 11%
    • Firearms 8%