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since June 19, 2001


Australian Demographics and Suicide Statistics

auslfexp.gif (5447 bytes)

australianpop1998.gif (10339 bytes)
The data table from which this graph has been constructed
is accessible via the link contained in note 2.

australiansuicmarstatus.gif (5535 bytes)
Based on Table 2.1 of the report by Steenkamp & Harrison [2]

australiansuicratesmarstat.gif (9197 bytes)
Based on Table 2.1 of the report by Steenkamp & Harrison [2]

australiansuicpercentmarstat.gif (8654 bytes)
Based on Table 2.1 of the report by Steenkamp & Harrison [2]

australiansuiccases1998.gif (8357 bytes)
Based on case counts presented in Table 8.1 of
the report by Steenkamp & Harrison [1]

The distribution of the suicide cases per age group as shown in the preceding graph has most likely been affected by the quality of the reporting (i.e.: some suicide deaths may not have been reported as suicides).  It is likely that the distribution is similar but somewhat different from that in the US (shown in the subsequent graph).  However, it is not very likely that the actual distribution of the Australian suicide deaths is not as smooth as the distribution of suicide deaths in the US.

ussuictl.gif (14848 bytes)

australiansuicrates1998.gif (10071 bytes)
See notes 1 & 2

What might the reasons be why the shapes of the distribution curves for suicide rates per age group for Australia (preceding graph) and the US (subsequent Graph) are so different.  If the data for both countries are accurate to the same extent in reporting suicide as the cause of death when necessary, it would appear that there are substantial differences in the social conditions in the two countries.

ussuirav.gif (7710 bytes)

australiansuicMFratio.gif (8398 bytes)
See notes 1 & 2

Again, the preceding graph showing the distribution of the male:female suicide ratios over the age groups differs substantially from that showing the corresponding information for the US. 
   Of course, the population in the US is much larger.  The number of suicides that are represented in the subsequent graph for the US is substantially larger than that for Australia.  Furthermore, the information for Australia covers only one year, while that for the US covers 17 years.  Therefore it is to be expected that there is a fair bit of smoothing in the distribution of the ratios for the US.   However, the general shape of the Australian distribution curve should be somewhat similar instead of deviating considerably from the shape of the curve for the US.  It is quite possible that the reason why the characteristics of the shape of the Australian distribution curve are so much different is that a good number of suicide deaths was falsely attributed to other causes of death.

ussuirrr.gif (7684 bytes)


  1. Information based on Suicide and hospitalised self-harm in Australia, Nov. 2000, by Malinda Steenkamp and James E Harrison, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Canberra, AIHW cat. no. INJCAT 30 (PDF File – 1.036 MB), and on a Web page by SteenKamp and Harrison showing an update for Table 2.1 of their report.

  2. Australian suicide rates and male/female suicide ratios for Australia were re-calculated using Australian population statistics for 1998, accessible at the website of the Australian Bureau for Statistics

Life Line 131 114 or 9662 1000,
Crisis Line 9323 0300,
Kids Help Line 1 800 55 1800,
Here For Life

Related Site:

Here for life

Understanding Suicide, etc... material

See also:

Youth Suicide and Self-Injury Australia,
by James Harrison, Jerry Moller, Stan Bordeaux

Completed Suicides in Western Australian Youth

Suicides in Vietnam veterans’ children a continuing problem

High suicide numbers in the children of Vietnam veterans is likely to be a continuing problem, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

A 1999 Institute report confirmed that suicide rates in the children of Vietnam veterans are three times that of the general community.

The latest report, Suicide in Vietnam Veterans’ Children, commissioned by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, shows that this figure, and associated patterns of suicide, remained unchanged from 1988 to 1997.

See article from The Age, (Melbourne), 19 April 2001

Divorced men head suicide list, By Darren Gray

See also suicide statistics for other countries and Index to Health Issues of Interest to Men

Back to Index of Health Issues

Posted 2001 04 20
2007 12 14 (reformated)