Suicide Facts: Deaths and intentional self-harm hospitalisations 2010

Published online: 
15 August 2012
cover image.

The publication focuses on deaths and hospitalisations in 2010 and also contains time-trend analyses of suicide deaths from 1948 and intentional self-harm hospitalisations from 1996.

Key points

Suicide

Overview

  • A total of 522 people died by suicide in New Zealand in 2010.
  • This equates to 11.5 deaths per 100,000 population (age-standardised).
  • The 2010 suicide rate was 23.6% below the peak rate in 1998.

Sex

  • There were 380 male suicide deaths (17.0 deaths per 100,000 male population, age-standardised) in 2010.
  • There were 142 female suicide deaths (6.4 deaths per 100,000 female population, age-standardised) in 2010.
  • The 2010 male suicide rate was 28.9% below the peak rate in 1995.
  • The female suicide rate has remained relatively stable since 1948, when records began.
  • The ratio of male to female suicide death rate was 2.7:1 in 2010.

Youth (15–24 years)

  • In 2010 the youth suicide rate was 17.7 deaths per 100,000 people aged 15–24.
  • There were 78 male youth suicide deaths (23.8 per 100,000 population) and 35 female youth suicide deaths (11.3 per 100,000 population).
  • Overall, the youth suicide rate has declined by 38.3% since the peak rate in 1995.
  • The Māori youth suicide rate was 35.3 per 100,000 Māori youth population: more than 2.5 times higher than that of non-Māori youth (13.4 per 100,000).

Adults

  • In 2010 the total suicide rate for adults aged 25–44 was 16.3 per 100,000 population. Male rates were 29.6% lower than the peak rates in 1997; female rates showed no obvious change between 1948 (when records began) and 2010.
  • The total suicide rate for adults aged 45–64 was 14.2 per 100,000 population. Rates appear to have trended upwards between 2001 and 2010.
  • Adults aged 65 and over had the lowest suicide rate (9.7 per 100.000 population). Between 1950 (the peak rate) and 2010 the rate for this group fell by 66.7%.

Ethnicity

  • There were 104 Māori suicide deaths in 2010. This represents an age-standardised rate of 16.0 per 100,000 Māori population.
  • There were 10.4 non-Māori deaths per 100,000 population (age-standardised) in 2010.
  • There were 21 suicide deaths among Pacific peoples and 28 among Asian ethnic groups in 2010.

Deprivation

  • There were 14.0 deaths per 100,000 population (age-standardised) in the most deprived areas and 10.7 deaths per 100,000 population (age-standardised) in the least deprived areas in 2010. This does not represent a significant difference.
  • However, quintile 2 showed a significantly lower rate than quintile 5.

District health boards

  • Over the five years 2006–2010, three DHB areas (Bay of Plenty, Tairawhiti and Southland) had significantly higher suicide rates than the total New Zealand rate.
  • Waitemata, Auckland and Capital & Coast DHB areas had significantly lower suicide death rates than the country as a whole.

Urban/rural profile

  • There was a significantly higher rate of suicide in rural areas when compared with urban areas (10.8 deaths per 100,000 population in urban areas, compared to 15.9 in rural areas).
  • The highest rates of rural suicide are seen in adults aged 25−44 years.

Intentional self-harm hospitalisations

Overview

  • There were 2825 intentional self-harm hospitalisations in New Zealand in 2010, which equates to 66.0 hospitalisations per 100,000 population (age-standardised).
  • Between 1996 (the first year of comparable data) and 2010 there was a decrease of 23.1% in rates of intentional self-harm hospitalisations.

Sex

  • Male hospitalisations involving intentional self-harm decreased markedly (by 31.0%) between 1996 and 2010.
  • Female hospitalisations decreased by 19.2% between 2001 (when the rate peaked) and 2010.
  • The ratio of female self-harm hospitalisation rate to male was 1.9:1 in 2010.

Age

  • In 2010 males aged 20–24 had the highest rate of male self-harm hospitalisations (87.1 per 100,000).
  • Females aged 15–19 had the highest rate of female self-harm hospitalisations (191.8 per 100,000).

Youth (15–24 years)

  • The self-harm hospitalisation rate in males aged 15–24 years showed a significant downward movement of 46.0% between 1996 and 2010.
  • The self-harm hospitalisation rate in females aged 15–24 years showed a downward movement of 28.3% in the same period.

Ethnicity

  • The age-standardised rate for Māori self-harm hospitalisations in 2010 was the highest since 2001 (83.6 per 100,000 Māori in 2010).
  • The age-standardised rate for non-Māori self-harm hospitalisations dropped markedly (by 28.7%) between 1996 and 2010.

Deprivation

  • The self-harm hospitalisation rates among the most deprived New Zealanders were more than twice those among the least deprived in 2010.
  • For both males and females, the differences in self-harm hospitalisation rates between the least and most deprived were statistically significant in 2010.

DHBs

  • Wairarapa DHB had the highest age-standardised rate of self-harm hospitalisation in 2010.
  • Auckland and Counties Manukau DHBs had the lowest age-standardised rates of self-harm hospitalisation in 2010.

Publishing information

  • Date of publication:
    15 August 2012
  • ISBN:
    978-0-478-39339-2 (print); 978-0-478-38340-8 (online)
  • HP number:
    5508
  • Citation:
    Ministry of Health. 2012. Suicide Facts: Deaths and intentional self-harm hospitalisations 2010. Wellington: Ministry of Health
  • Ordering information:
    Only soft copy available to download
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