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Source: New Zealand Ministry of Health

The Suicide web tool presents data on confirmed suicides reported by the Ministry of Health, as well as data on suspected intentionally self-inflicted deaths reported by the Chief Coroner.

Contents


Summary

The Suicide web tool presents data on confirmed suicides reported by the Ministry of Health, as well as data on suspected intentionally self-inflicted deaths reported by the Chief Coroner. Numbers and rates of suicide deaths are presented by year, ethnicity, sex, age group and district health board of residence of the deceased. Confirmed suicide data are reported from 2009 to 2018, while suspected intentionally self-inflicted death data are reported from 2009 to the 2020/21 financial year.

View the suicide web tool


Data sources

In Aotearoa New Zealand, suicide data is reported both by the Ministry of Health and the Chief Coroner. The Chief Coroner releases data on suspected intentionally self-inflicted deaths, including those where a coroner has not yet established if the death was from intentional self-harm. The Ministry of Health releases official suicide data, comprising suicide deaths that have been confirmed to be suicide by the Chief Coroner, in addition to deaths provisionally coded as suicide, when enough information has been received to suggest that the eventual confirmed cause will be suicide.

The web tool contains data for suspected intentionally self-inflicted deaths up to the 2020/21 financial year, because this data is released by the Chief Coroner two to three years before the confirmed suicide data for the same year is released by the Ministry of Health. The Ministry of Health waits to publish confirmed suicide information until such time as coroners have completed most investigations. Numbers of suspected intentionally self-inflicted deaths reported by the Chief Coroner are generally higher than the confirmed numbers of suicide deaths reported by the Ministry of Health, as some suspected intentionally self-inflicted deaths will later be found not to be suicides.


Key findings from confirmed suicide data

Overview

  • In 2018, there were 623 suicide deaths in Aotearoa New Zealand. The age-standardised rate of suicide deaths was 12.1 per 100,000 population.
  • From 2009 to 2018, the change in the rate of suicide deaths was not statistically significant, from 11.5 per 100,000 population in 2009 to 12.1 per 100,000 population in 2018.
  • During this period, the highest suicide rate was in 2012 with a rate of 12.4 per 100,000 population. The lowest rate was in 2014 with a rate of 10.8 per 100,000 population.

By prioritised ethnicity

  • In 2018, the rate of suicide was higher for Māori than other ethnic groups, with a rate of 18.2 per 100,000 Māori population. The Asian population had the lowest suicide rate, of 4.5 per 100,000 Asian population.
  • From 2009 to 2018, there were changes in the rates of suicide for Māori, Pacific, Asian and Other populations, which are described below. However, note that for all prioritised ethnic groups, none of the changes in suicide rates from 2009 to 2018 were statistically significant at the 95% confidence level.
  • The rate of suicide for Māori populations increased from 13.1 per 100,000 Māori population in 2009 to 18.2 in 2018.
  • The rate of suicide for Pacific populations decreased from 10.3 per 100,000 Pacific population in 2009 to 7.8 in 2018.
  • The rate of suicide for Asian populations decreased from 6.5 per 100,000 Asian population in 2009 to 4.5 in 2018.
  • The rate of suicide for Other populations increased from 12.0 per 100,000 Other population in 2009 to 12.9 in 2018.

Among Māori and non-Māori

  • Suicide rates for Māori tend to be higher than those for non-Māori.
  • From 2009 to 2018, Māori males had the highest rates of suicide. Over this time, the rate for Māori males was highly variable, but generally increased, while the rate for non-Māori males stayed about the same. A similar trend was observed for females.
  • In 2018, the suicide rate for Māori males was about 1.6 times that of non-Māori males. In that same year, the suicide rate for Māori females was about 1.9 times that of non-Māori females.
  • From 2009 to 2018, the difference in rates of suicide between Māori and non-Māori was most notable in the 15–24 years age group. In 2018, the rate for Māori in the 15–24 years age group was about 2.1 times that for non-Māori in the same age group.

By sex

  • In 2018, there were 446 male suicide deaths and 177 female suicide deaths.
  • In that year, the rate of suicide for males was 17.4 per 100,000 males, and the rate for females was 6.9 per 100,000 females.
  • From 2009 to 2018, the change in suicide rate for males was not statistically significant, from 18.3 per 100,000 males in 2009 to 17.4 per 100,000 males in 2018.
  • Similarly, in the same time period, the change in suicide rate for females was not statistically significant, from 5.1 per 100,000 females in 2009 to 6.9 per 100,000 females in 2018.

By district health board of residence

  • Rates of suicide may be influenced by differences in population age, ethnicity and deprivation across district health boards. Additionally, some district health boards have significantly lower populations than others, which can lead to unreliable rates with wide margins of error.
  • In 2018, there was one district health board region with a statistically significantly higher rate of suicide than the national rate: Northland District Health Board had a rate of 19.8.
  • In the same year, there was one district health board region with a statistically significantly lower rate of suicide than the national rate: Counties Manukau District Health Board had a rate of 8.0.

Disclaimer

In this web tool, the confirmed suicide numbers and all rates have been recalculated to reflect ongoing updates to data in the New Zealand Mortality Collection (for example, following the release of coroners’ findings) and the revision of population estimates. This has resulted in small changes to some numbers and rates from those reported in previous publications.

This web tool presents data to the latest year for which data is available for publication. We have quality checked the collection, extraction, and reporting of the data presented here. However, errors can occur. Please email the Data Services team at the Ministry of Health if you have any concerns regarding any of the data or analyses presented here. The Ministry of Health makes no warranty, expressed or implied, nor assumes legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, correctness or use of the information or data in this tool.

MIL OSI