The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) provides in-depth data and statistical information around suicide-related deaths across Australia.
Mindframe supports media professionals in communicating and contextualising statistical information safely to the public through advice, infographics, and downloadable summaries.
Why are the ABS statistics important?
The ABS Causes of Death data provide in-depth statistics information around suicide-related deaths across the country.
Statistics referencing suicide provide context and are drawn upon in policy and decision making, media and communications and in raising community awareness.
ABS Causes of Death data 2021
- In 2021, there were 3,144 suicide deaths in Australia, with an age-standardised rate of 12.0 deaths per 100,000 population. The rate for 2021 is the lowest national suicide rate recorded since 2016.
- The suicide rate for males decreased by 2.3% between 2020 and 2021.
- The suicide rate for females increased by 5.0% between 2020 and 2021.
- Young and middle-aged people are more likely to die by suicide, with 81.9% of people who died by suicide being under the age of 65.
- Men aged over 85 years had the highest male age-specific suicide rate but accounted for the smallest proportion (3.2%) of male suicides.
- Women aged 50-54 years had the highest female age-specific suicide rate and accounted for the highest proportion (9.9%) of female suicides. In 2020, this age group had the seventh highest rate of female suicides.
- There were 219 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who died by suicide across Australia in 2021.
- Using data from New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia and Northern Territory, the age-standardised suicide rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people was 27.1 per 100,000.
- The highest number of suicide deaths occurred in New South Wales (880 deaths). The Northern Territory recorded the highest rate of suicide (18.4 per 100,000 people).
- Almost 90% of people who died by suicide had at least one risk factor reported. Mood disorders (including depression) were the most common risk factor for both males (36.2%) and females (41.6%) for all age groups except for those 85 years and older.
- There were 81 people (2.6% of all suicide deaths) who had the COVID-19 pandemic mentioned in either a police, pathology or coronial finding report.
ABS Causes of Death data summary 2021
A summary of the data was prepared by Everymind using the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Causes of Death (Catalogue No. 3303.0) data, released 19 October 2022. The data summary was used to support the Mindframe media and stakeholder briefing upon its release.
A full breakdown is available on Life In Mind.