About the suicide web tool

If at any point you feel worried about harming yourself while viewing the information in this web tool—or if you think someone else may be in danger—please stop reading and seek help.

The Suicide web tool presents data on confirmed suicides reported by Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand, as well as data on suspected intentionally self-inflicted deaths reported by the Chief Coroner.

Numbers and rates of suicide deaths are presented by year, ethnicity, sex, age group and district health board of residence of the deceased.

Pātiki and Waharua Kōpito patterns

Suicide web tool

Numbers and rates of suicide deaths in Aotearoa New Zealand. If at any point you feel worried about harming yourself while viewing the information in this web tool—or if you think someone else may be in danger—please stop reading and seek help.


Data sources

In Aotearoa New Zealand, suicide data is reported both by Te Whatu Ora and the Chief Coroner. The Chief Coroner releases data on suspected intentionally self-inflicted deaths, including those where a coroner has not yet established if the death was from intentional self-harm. Te Whatu Ora releases official suicide data, comprising suicide deaths that have been confirmed to be suicide by the Chief Coroner, in addition to deaths provisionally coded as suicide, when enough information has been received to suggest that the eventual confirmed cause will be suicide.

The web tool contains data for suspected intentionally self-inflicted deaths up to the 2021/22 financial year, because this data is released by the Chief Coroner two to three years before the confirmed suicide data for the same year is released by Te Whatu Ora. Te Whatu Ora waits to publish confirmed suicide information until such time as coroners have completed most investigations. Numbers of suspected intentionally self-inflicted deaths reported by the Chief Coroner are generally higher than the confirmed numbers of suicide deaths reported by Te Whatu Ora, as some suspected intentionally self-inflicted deaths will later be found not to be suicides.

Key findings on deaths from suspected intentional self-harm

Overview

  • In the 21/22 financial year, there were 538 suspected self-inflicted deaths in Aotearoa New Zealand. The age-standardised rate of suspected self-inflicted deaths was 10.2 (95% CI: 9.3, 11.0) per 100,000 population.
  • The rate of suspected self-inflicted deaths in the 21/22 financial year was 14.5% lower than the average rate of suspected self-inflicted deaths over the last 13 financial years. This was a statistically significant difference. Suicide rates are highly variable, so a statistically significant change in one year compared with an average over time does not mean that the overall trend has changed.
  • During this period, the highest rate of suspected self-inflicted deaths was in the 18/19 financial year, with a rate of 12.9 (95% CI: 11.9, 13.9) per 100,000 population. The lowest rate of suspected self-inflicted deaths was in the 21/22 financial year, with a rate of 10.2 (95% CI: 9.3, 11.0) per 100,000 population.

By Māori/non-Māori

  • Suicide rates for Māori tend to be higher than those for non-Māori.
  • From the 08/09 financial year to the 20/21 financial year, Māori males had the highest rates of suspected self-inflicted deaths.
  • In the 20/21 financial year, the rate of suspected self-inflicted deaths for Māori males was 23.9 per 100,000 Māori male population. This was about 1.4 times that of non-Māori males, who had a rate of 17 per 100,000 non-Māori male population. In the same financial year, the rate of suspected self-inflicted deaths for Māori females was 9.2 per 100,000 Māori female population. This was about 2 times that of non-Māori females, who had a rate of 4.6 per 100,000 non-Māori female population.
  • From the 08/09 financial year to the 20/21 financial year, the difference in rates of suspected self-inflicted deaths between Māori and non-Māori was most notable in the 15–24 and 25–44 years age groups. In the 20/21 financial year, the rate for Māori in the 15–24 years age group was about 1.4 times that for non-Māori in the same age group, and the rate for Māori in the 25–44 years age group was about 2.4 times that for non-Māori in the same age group.

By ethnicity

  • The rate of suspected self-inflicted deaths per 100,000 Māori population in the 21/22 financial year was 15.9 (95% CI: 13.2, 18.6). This was not a statistically significant change from the average of the past 13 years.
  • The rate of suspected self-inflicted deaths per 100,000 Pacific population in the 21/22 financial year was 9.9 (95% CI: 6.6, 13.2). This was not a statistically significant change from the average of the past 13 years.
  • The rate of suspected self-inflicted deaths per 100,000 Asian population in the 21/22 financial year was 3.8 (95% CI: 2.5, 5.1). This was not a statistically significant change from the average of the past 13 years.
  • The ethnic category ‘Other’ includes anyone who does not identify with Māori, Pacific, or Asian ethnic groups. This includes European, Middle-Eastern, Latin American, African, and other ethnic groups.The rate of suspected self-inflicted deaths per 100,000 Other population in the 21/22 financial year was 10.1 (95% CI: 9.0, 11.2). This was a statistically significant change from the average of the past 13 years.

By sex

  • In the 21/22 financial year, there were 401 male suspected self-inflicted deaths and 137 female suspected self-inflicted deaths.
  • In the 21/22 financial year, the rate of suspected self-inflicted deaths for males was 14.9 per 100,000 males, and the rate of suspected self-inflicted deaths for females was 5.5 per 100,000 females.
  • In the 21/22 financial year, the age standardised rate of suspected self-inflicted deaths for males was a statistically significant change from the average of the last 13 financial years.
  • In the same time period, the age standardised rate of suspected self-inflicted deaths for females was not a statistically significant change from the average of the last 13 financial years.

By age group

  • In the 21/22 financial year, the five year age group with the highest rate of suspected self-inflicted deaths in Aotearoa New Zealand was the 20–24 age group, which had a rate of 21.4 per 100,000 people.
  • Over the period between the 08/09 financial year and the 21/22 financial year, the rates of suspected self-inflicted deaths for all five year age groups in Aotearoa New Zealand were highly variable. During this time, the highest rate across all age groups was in the 20–24 age group in the 18/19 financial year, with a rate of suspected self-inflicted deaths of 25.8 per 100,000 people.

Disclaimer

In this web tool, the confirmed suicide numbers and all rates have been recalculated to reflect ongoing updates to data in the New Zealand Mortality Collection (for example, following the release of coroners' findings) and the revision of population estimates. This has resulted in small changes to some numbers and rates from those reported in previous publications.

This web tool presents data to the latest year for which data is available for publication. We have quality checked the collection, extraction, and reporting of the data presented here. However, errors can occur. Please contact us through the Data Services team at Te Whatu Ora if you have any concerns regarding any of the data or analyses presented here. Te Whatu Ora makes no warranty, expressed or implied, nor assumes legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, correctness or use of the information or data in this tool.

Publishing information

Date of publication:
25 October 2022
Ordering information:
Only soft copy available to download
Copyright status: Owned by the Ministry of Health and licensed for reuse under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence