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.
Quick reference guide for communicating safely about suicide and self-harm data
Use this quick reference guide alongside the Mindframe guidelines.
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 2022
Released by the ABS on Wednesday, 27 September 2023
- In 2022, there were 3,249 suicide deaths in Australia, with an age-standardised rate of 12.3 deaths per 100,000 population. The rate for 2022 is a slight increase from the rate recorded for 2021 (12.1 per 100,000).
- The aged-standardised rate for males increased by 2.6% between 2021 and 2022.
- The age-standardised rate for females decreased by 2.3% between 2021 and 2022.
- Young and middle-aged people are more likely to die by suicide than those in older age groups, with 81.7% 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 (2.9%) of male suicides.
- Men aged between 45-49 years had the highest age-specific suicide rate of those aged under 85 years, accounting for the largest proportion of deaths due to suicide (10.7%).
- In 2022, women aged over 85 years had the highest female age-specific suicide rate for the first time since the beginning of the ABS mortality data time series with a rate of 10.6 per 100,000.
- Women aged 45-49 years had the highest female age-specific suicide rate of females aged under 85 years (8.8 per 100,000).
- There were 239 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who died by suicide across Australia in 2022.
- 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 29.9 per 100,000. This is the highest suicide rate in the 10-year time series.
- The highest number of suicide deaths occurred in New South Wales (911 deaths). However, the Northern Territory recorded the highest rate of suicide (age-standardised rate 20.5 per 100,000 people).
- Almost 86% of suicides had at least one risk factor reported, with an average of 3-4 factors mentioned. Mood disorders (including depression) were the most common risk factor for both males (34.9%) and females (43.3%) for all age groups except for those 85 years and older.
- There were 84 people (2.6% of all suicide deaths) who had the COVID-19 pandemic mentioned in either a police, pathology or coronial finding report.
- Data for 2022 includes information on country of birth for those who died by suicide. Those born in Australia had an age-standardised rate of 14.7 per 100,000, while those born overseas had an age-standardised rateof 8.2 per 100,000.
ABS Causes of Death data summary 2022
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 27 September 2023. The data summary was used to support the Mindframe media and stakeholder briefing upon its release.