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.
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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.