Suicide Facts: Deaths and intentional self-harm hospitalisations 2009

This annual statistical publication presents and summarises suicide information received from the New Zealand Mortality Collection, and admissions to hospital for intentional self-harm sourced from the New Zealand National Minimum Dataset.

Published online: 
24 April 2012

Summary

The publication focuses on deaths and hospitalisations in 2009 and also contains time trend analyses of suicide deaths from 1948 and intentional self-harm hospitalisations from 1996.

Suicide

Overview

  • A total of 506 people died by suicide in New Zealand in 2009.
  • This equates to 11.2 deaths per 100,000 population (age-standardised).
  • The 2009 suicide rate was 25.5 percent below the peak rate in 1998.

Sex

  • There were 391 male suicide deaths (17.8 deaths per 100,000 male population, age standardised) in 2009.
  • There were 115 female suicide deaths (5.0 deaths per 100,000 female population, age standardised) in 2009.
  • The 2009 male suicide rate was 25.4 percent below the peak rate in 1995. The female suicide rate has remained steady over time.
  • The ratio of male suicide death rates to female was 3.6:1 in 2009.

Youth (15–24 years)

  • In 2009 the youth suicide rate was 18.1 deaths per 100,000 people aged 15–24.
  • There were 93 male youth suicide deaths (29.0 per 100,000 population) and 21 female youth suicide deaths (6.8 per 100,000 population).
  • Overall, the youth suicide rate has declined by 36.8 percent since  the peak rate in 1995.
  • The Māori youth suicide rate was 28.7 per 100,000 Māori youth population: more than 80 percent higher than that of non-Māori youth (15.6 per 100,000).

Adults

  • In 2009 the total suicide rate for adults aged 25–44 was 14.9 per 100,000 population. Male rates fell by 32.9 percent between 1997 (the peak rate) and 2009; female rates showed no obvious change between 1948 (when records began) and 2009.
  • The total suicide rate for adults aged 45–64 was 14.6 per 100,000 population. Rates appear to have trended upwards between 2001 and 2009.
  • Adults aged 65 and over had the lowest suicide rates (9.4 per 100.000 population). Between 1950 and 2009, the rate for this group fell by 67.6 percent.

Ethnicity

  • There were 83 Māori suicide deaths in 2009. This represents an age-standardised rate of 13.1 per 100,000 Māori population: the lowest Māori rate since 1999.
  • There were 10.6 non-Māori deaths per 100,000 population (age-standardised) in 2009.
  • There were 28 suicide deaths among Pacific people and 25 among Asian ethnic groups in 2009.

Deprivation

  • There were 15.0 deaths per 100,000 population (age-standardised) in the most deprived and 8.0 deaths per 100,000 population (age-standardised) in the least deprived areas in 2009. This represents a significant difference in rates.

DHBs

  • Five DHB areas (Northland, Bay of Plenty, Tairawhiti, MidCentral and Southland) had significantly higher average suicide rates than the total New Zealand rate for the five years 2005–2009.
  • Waitemata, Auckland and Capital & Coast DHB areas had significantly lower average suicide death rates than the total New Zealand rate for the five years 2005–2009.

Intentional self-harm hospitalisations

Overview

  • There were 2539 intentional self-harm hospitalisations in New Zealand in 2009, which equates to 59.6 hospitalisations per 100,000 population (age-standardised).
  • Between 1996 and 2009 there was a decrease of 30.5 percent in rates of intentional self-harm hospitalisations.

Sex

  • Male hospitalisations involving intentional self-harm decreased markedly (by 33.2 percent) between 1996 and 2009.
  • Female hospitalisations decreased by 29.7 percent between 2001 (when the rate peaked) and 2009.
  • The ratio of female self-harm hospitalisation rates to male was 1.7:1 in 2009.

Age

  • In 2009 males aged 35–39 had the highest rate of male self-harm hospitalisations (82.1 per 100,000).
  • Females aged 15–19 had the highest rate of female self-harm hospitalisations (181.1 per 100,000).

Youth (15–24 years)

  • Self-harm hospitalisation rates in males aged 15–24 years showed a significant downward movement of 49.5 percent between 1996 and 2009 (from 398 to 240 hospitalisations).
  • Self-harm hospitalisation rates in females aged 15–24 years showed a downward movement of 37.3 percent in the same period (from 675 to 489 hospitalisations).

Ethnicity

  • Age-standardised rates for Māori self-harm hospitalisations remained relatively stable between 1996 and 2009.
  • Age-standardised rates for non-Māori self-harm hospitalisations dropped markedly (by 35.1 percent) between 1996 and 2009.

Deprivation

  • Self-harm hospitalisation rates among the most deprived New Zealanders were more than twice that among the least deprived in 2009.
  • For both males and females the differences between self-harm hospitalisation rates among the least and most deprived were statistically significant in 2009.

DHBs

  • Wairarapa DHB had the highest age-standardised rate of self-harm hospitalisation in 2009.
  • Auckland and Counties-Manukau DHBs had the lowest age-standardised rate of self-harm hospitalisation in 2009.
  • Wairarapa DHB had the highest female-to-male rate ratio of self-harm hospitalisations (3.1:1) in 2009.
  • Only in MidCentral DHB did male self-harm hospitalisation rates exceed female rates in 2009.

Publishing information

  • Date of publication:
    24 April 2012
  • ISBN:
    978-0-478-37396-7 (print), 978-0-478-37397-4 (online)
  • HP number:
    5456
  • Citation:
    Ministry of Health. 2012. Suicide Facts: Deaths and intentional self-harm hospitalisations 2009. Wellington: Ministry of Health.
  • Ordering information:
    Only soft copy available to download
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