Deaths by suicide in New Zealand

By age group and sex, 2016, number of people

Notes

Data excludes eight suicides among those aged 0–14 years.

Definitions

Suicide: In New Zealand, a death is only officially classified as suicide by the coroner on completion of the coroner’s inquiry. In some cases, an inquest may be heard several years after the death, particularly if there are factors relating to the death that need to be investigated first (for example, a death in custody). Consequently, a provisional suicide classification may be made before the coroner reaches a verdict.
At the time of data extraction (28 March 2019), there were 26 deaths registered in 2016 that were still subject to coroners’ findings and where the cause of death had not yet been determined. Although these deaths are not included in the following data, some may later be classified as a suicide.

Data calculation/treatment

The number of suicide deaths refers to the number of people who have died by suicide.
The number of suicide deaths in this dataset differs from the number released by the Chief Coroner. The Chief Coroner’s data includes all deaths initially identified at the coroner’s office as self-inflicted. However, only those deaths determined as ‘intentionally self-inflicted’ after investigation will receive a final verdict of suicide. Some deaths provisionally coded as suicide may be determined not to be suicide at a later date. In addition, when coroners do not specify whether self-inflicted poisoning is accidental or with intent to harm, the coding rules require the death would be coded to accidental poisoning (not undetermined intent). This rule could lead to an overstatement of accidental poisonings and an understatement of deaths from undetermined intent.
The Ministry reports on those deaths determined to be suicide after a completed coronial process or those provisionally coded as intentionally self-inflicted deaths before the final coroner’s verdict. Furthermore, the Chief Coroner’s data relates to years ending 30 June rather than the calendar years used in this report.

Rates are expressed per 100,000 population. A rate measures how often a suicide occurs relative the number of people in the population, or a subset of the population.
An age-standardised rate is a rate that has been adjusted to take account of differences in the age distribution of the population over time or between different groups (for example, different ethnic groups). The standard population used is the WHO World Population.
The rate ratio refers to the frequency with which these events are reported in one population group compared with other groups.

Limitations of the data

Caution is advised when interpreting rates derived from small numbers as they may fluctuate markedly over time. This may apply to both small numbers of cases and/or small population groups.

Data provided by

Ministry of Health

Dataset name

Suicide Facts: Data tables 2016

Webpage:

https://www.health.govt.nz/publication/suicide-facts-2016-data-provisional

How to find the data

At URL provided, select 'Suicide Facts: 2016 data (provisional) (xlsx, 221 KB)' from the box to the right-hand side of the page.

Import & extraction details

File as imported: Suicide Facts: Data tables 2016

From the dataset Suicide Facts: Data tables 2016, this data was extracted:

  • Sheet: Age Sex
  • Range: R10:AA62
  • Provided: 350 data points

This data forms the table Mental Health - Suicide deaths and rates by sex and age group 2007–2016.

Dataset originally released on:

July 10, 2019

About this dataset

These tables present data about suicide deaths in New Zealand from 2007 to 2016, where 2016 data is provisional.

Purpose of collection

The purpose of this report is to present numbers, trends and demographic profiles of people who die by suicide or seriously harm themselves. Understanding this data is important for policy makers, clinicians and others who work to prevent suicide and intentional self-harm.

Method of collection/Data provider

All New Zealand suicide data in these tables was extracted from the Ministry of Health’s Mortality Collection (MORT) on 28 March 2019.