The number of male suicides in Australia has risen by nearly 10% from 2,151 deaths in 2016 to 2,348 deaths in 2017, the highest annual figure in over a decade. Suicide now kills more than 8 Australians a day, taking the lives of more than 6 men and 2 women a day on average.
Trends In Male Suicide By Age Groups
Male suicide continues to be a major social issue for men and boys of all ages in Australia and remains the biggest single killer of men aged 15-44.
Men over 85 continue to have the highest rate of suicide, while accounting for a relatively small number of suicides.
Men aged 25-64 still account for the majority (71.3%) of all male suicides.
|Age Group||Suicides||% Increase|
|85 and over||61||0|
Source: ABS 3303.0 Causes of Death, Australia, 2017. From Table 11.1 Intentional self-harm, Number of deaths, 5 year age groups by sex, 2008–2017
Some of the most notable changes in 2017 were:
- An increase in male suicide in boys under 15, from 9 deaths in 2016 to 16 deaths in 2017 (up 77.8%)
- An increase in male suicide in men aged 45-49, from 180 deaths in 2016 to 259 deaths in 2017 (up 43.9%)
- An increase in male suicide for men in their 40s, from 400 deaths in 2016 to 502 deaths in 2017 (up 25.5%)
- An total increase of 263 suicides in 2017 compared to 2016, of which 197 (74.9%) were male
Male Suicide Rates By Age Groups
The age groups with the highest rates of male suicide in 2017 were:
- Men over 85 (32.8 deaths per 100,00)
- Men aged 45-49 (32.1 deaths per 100,00)
- Men aged 40-44 (30.5 deaths per 100,00)
- Men aged 30-34 (26.5 deaths per 100,00)
- Men aged 55-59 (26.4 deaths per 100,00)
|85 and over||34.0||32.8|
Source: ABS 3303.0 Causes of Death, Australia, 2017. From Table 11.2 Intentional self-harm, Age-specific death rates, 5 year age groups by sex, 2008–2017
Male Suicide By State and Territory
Some notable trends in 2017 include:
- Male suicide increased in NSW, QLD, WA and ACT; fell in VIC, SA and TAS and stayed the same in NT
- The highest number of male suicides occur in the largest states: NSW (683), QLD (609) and VIC (445)
- The highest rates of male suicide occur in NT (25.9), TAS (23.8), QLD, (23.3) WA (21.8)
- The lowest rates of male suicide occur in VIC (15.3), NSW (16.1), ACT (16.1) and SA (19.6)
|New South Wales||
Source: ABS 3303.0 Causes of Death, Australia, 2017. From Table 11.6 Intentional self-harm, State and territory, Number of deaths, Age-standardised death rate, Rate ratio, Sex, 2008–2017
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Male Suicide
Male suicide continues to be a major social issue for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander males. Some key statistics are listed below:
- There were 561 recorded Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander male suicides in the five years from 2013-2017.
- Men and boys account for 72.9% of all Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander suicides.
- Male suicide is the second biggest killer of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander men and boys.
- The Indigenous male suicide rate is nearly twice as high as the Non-Indigenous male suicide rate.
|Age||Indigenous Rate||Non-Indigenous Rate||Rate Ratio||Rate Difference|
Source: ABS 3303.0 Causes of Death, Australia, 2017. From Table 11.2 Intentional self-harm, Age-specific death rates, 5 year age groups by sex, 2008–2017 Table 12.4 Underlying causes of death, Leading causes by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status, Numbers and Age-Specific Death Rates, Males, Females and Persons, NSW, Qld, SA, WA and NT
The age groups with the highest rates of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander male suicide are:
- Men aged 25-34 (75 deaths per 100,00)
- Men aged 35-44 (65.3 deaths per 100,00)
- Men aged 15-24 (53.9 deaths per 100,00)
The number of female suicides in Australia has risen by nearly 10% from 715 deaths in 2016 to 780 deaths in 2017, the highest annual figure in over a decade. Women aged 45-54 have the highest rates of female suicide.
- Take Action: Four Ways You Can Help Us Tackle Male Suicide (AMHF)
- Data: Causes of Death 2017 (ABS)
- #KnowYourManFacts: Male Suicide Fact Sheet (AMHF)
- Position Paper:The Need For Male Friendly Approaches To Suicide Prevention In Australia (AMHF)
- Presentation: How To Develop A Male-Friendly Approach To Suicide Prevention (AMHF)