27 January 2014
The publication focuses on suicide deaths and self-harm hospitalisations in 2011 and also contains time trend analyses of suicide deaths from 1948 and intentional self-harm hospitalisations from 1996.
- A total of 478 people died by suicide in New Zealand in 2011.
- This equates to 10.6 deaths per 100,000 population (age standardised).
- The 2011 suicide rate was 29.8 percent below the peak rate in 1998.
- There were 369 male suicides (16.6 deaths per 100,000 male population, age standardised) in 2011.
- There were 109 female suicides (4.7 deaths per 100,000 female population, age standardised) in 2011.
- In 2011, the ratio of male to female suicide rates was 3.5 to 1.
- The 2011 male suicide rate was 30.5 percent below the peak rate in 1995.
- The female suicide rate has remained relatively stable since 1948, when records began.
Youth (15–24 years)
- In 2011, the youth suicide rate was 19.3 deaths per 100,000 people aged 15–24 years.
- There were 93 male youth suicides 28.1 per 100,000 male youth population) and 31 female youth suicides (9.9 per 100,000 female youth population) in 2011.
- In 2011, the ratio of male to female youth suicide rates was 2.8 to 1.
- Overall, the youth suicide rate has declined by 32.8 percent since the peak rate in 1995.
- The Maori youth suicide rate for 2011 was 36.4 per 100,000 Maori youth population – 2.4 times higher than that of non-Maori youth (15.1 per 100,000 non-Maori population).
- In 2011, the total suicide rate for adults aged 25–44 years was 13.8 per 100,000 population.
- Rates for males aged 25–44 years in 2011 were 35.6 percent lower than the peak rates in 1997; female rates for this age group showed no obvious change between 1948 (when records began) and 2011.
- The suicide rate for adults aged 45–64 years in 2011 was 13.2 per 100,000 people in this age group.
- Male rates for the 45–64 age group decreased by 28.2 percent between 1948 and 2011. Female rates for the same age group fell by 38.4 percent between 1948 and 1994 but have remained stable since.
- Of all age groups, adults aged 65 years and over had the lowest suicide rate (7.3 per 100.000 adults aged 65 years and over). Between 1950 (the peak rate) and 2011, the rate for this group fell by 74.8 percent.
- There were 108 Maori suicide deaths in 2011. This represents an age-standardised rate of 16.8 per 100,000 Maori population.
- There were 9.1 non-Maori deaths per 100,000 population (age standardised) in 2011.
- There were 24 suicide deaths among Pacific people and 28 among Asian people in 2011.
- There were 14.0 deaths per 100,000 population (age standardised) in the most deprived areas and 8.4 deaths per 100,000 population (age standardised) in the least deprived areas in 2011.
- The suicide death rates in both quintiles 1 and 2 were statistically significantly lower than quintile 5.
District health board (DHB) regions
- Over the five years from 2007 to 2011, three DHB regions (Bay of Plenty, Tairawhiti and MidCentral) had statistically significantly higher suicide rates than the total New Zealand rate.
- Waitemata, Auckland and Capital & Coast DHB regions had statistically significantly lower suicide death rates than the country as a whole over the five years from 2007 to 2011.
- In 2011, there was a higher rate of suicide in rural areas compared with the rate of suicide in urban areas (12.5 deaths per 100,000 population in rural areas compared with 10.6 deaths per 100,000 population in urban areas). However, this difference was not statistically significant.
Intentional self-harm hospitalisations
- There were 2647 intentional self-harm hospitalisations in New Zealand in 2011, which equates to 61.1 hospitalisations per 100,000 population (age standardised).
- Between 1996 (the first year of comparable data) and 2011, there was a decrease of 28.8 percent in rates of intentional self-harm hospitalisations.
- Male hospitalisations involving intentional self-harm decreased by 35.5 percent between 1996 and 2011.
- Female hospitalisations decreased by 24.6 percent between 1996 and 2011.
- In 2011, the ratio of female to male self-harm hospitalisation rate was 1.8 to 1.
- In 2011, the highest rate of intentional self-harm hospitalisations for both males and females was in the 15–19 years age group (80.8 per 100,000 male youth population and 212.0 per 100,000 female youth population).
Youth (15–24 years)
- The self-harm hospitalisation rate in both male and female youth showed a statistically significant decline between 1996 and 2011 of 46.9 percent and 27.5 percent respectively.
- The age-standardised rate for Maori self-harm hospitalisations has shown no obvious trend since 1996.
- The age-standardised rate for non-Maori self-harm hospitalisations decreased by 32.7 percent between 1996 and 2011.
- The self-harm hospitalisation rate of the most deprived New Zealanders was more than twice that of the least deprived New Zealanders in 2011 (82.2 per 100,000 population in the most deprived quintile compared with 38.6 per 100,000 for the least deprived quintile).
- For both males and females, the difference in self-harm hospitalisation rates between the least and most deprived quintiles was statistically significant in 2011.
District health board (DHB) regions
- Over the three years from 2009 to 2011, Wairarapa DHB region had the highest age-standardised rate of intentional self-harm hospitalisations (144.2 per 100,000).
- In the same three-year period, Auckland DHB region had the lowest age-standardised rate of self-harm hospitalisations (30.5 per 100,000).