Statistics

We can never underestimate the impact that every life lost to suicide has on family, friends, workplaces and the broader community. Over 10 million Australian adults are estimated to know someone who has died by suicide, and 1 in 2 young people are impacted by suicide by the time they turn 25. The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data shows that around 9 lives are lost per day to suicide.

These statistics are based on 2019 data which was released by the ABS on 23 October 2020.

  • 3,318 Australians died by suicide in 2019, which is 12.9 deaths per 100,000 people.
  • 6% increase compared with the 3,138 suicide deaths reported in 2018.
  • 9.1 deaths per day compared to 8.6 deaths per day in recent years.
  • Suicide was the 13th most common cause of death
  • Suicide was the leading cause of death among people aged 15-49

Younger Australians

  • As with 2018, suicide was the most common cause of death for young people aged 15-24 years. Suicide was also the most common cause of death for adults aged 25-44.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples

  • In 2019 there were 195 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who died by suicide.
  • The rate of deaths by suicide amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples over the past five years was 24.6 per 100,000 – compared to a rate of 12.5 for non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
  • Suicide is the fifth leading cause of death for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Males

  • Males accounted for 75.4% of deaths by suicide (2,502 deaths), while females accounted for 24.6% (816 deaths).
  • Consistent with previous years, males are around 3 times more likely to die by suicide than females.
  • The highest rate for males in 2019 was observed in those aged 85 years and older (32.3 deaths per 100,000 males)

Psychosocial risk factors

The causes of suicide are complex. There are various factors that may contribute to suicide.

  • Psychosocial risk factors were associated causes of death for 90% of suicides.
  • Problems in spousal relationship circumstances was the most commonly mentioned psychosocial risk factor in deaths due to suicide.
  • Mood disorders, including depression, were identified for 40.6% of suicides.
  • Substance use disorders (including intoxication) were reported in 30.6% of male suicides.
  • Previous self-harm was reported in almost one-third (30.5%) of female suicides.

Further information: Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)

Other statistics

  • 65,000 suicide attempts each year (est.)
  • Each year, around 100,000 Australians attempt suicide and it is estimated that more than 500,000 Australians have attempted suicide at some time in their life.