Mental Health - Age-standardised suicide rates for OECD countries, by sex 2007–2015
Ministry of Health
Suicide rates for New Zealand and other countries from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) are for single years, and cover various years, as data becomes available at different times for different countries.
A cautious approach is recommended when comparing international suicide statistics because many factors affect the recording and classification of suicide in different countries, including the level of proof required for a verdict; the stigma associated with suicide; the religion, social class or occupation of victims; and confidentiality. As a result, deaths that are classified as suicide in some countries may be classified as accidental or of undetermined intent in others.
Statistical measures, such as confidence intervals, cannot account for these differences. Providing such statistical measures may create a false sense of confidence in the recording of differences.
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.
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
Suicide Facts: Data tables 2015
How to find the data
At URL provided, select 'Suicide Facts: Data tables 1996-2015' from the box to the right-hand side of the page.
Import & extraction details
File as imported: Suicide Facts: Data tables 2015
From the dataset Suicide Facts: Data tables 2015, this data was extracted:
- Sheet: International
- Provided: 66 data points
Dataset originally released on:
October 03, 2018
About this dataset
These tables present data about suicide deaths in New Zealand over the 20-year period from 1996 to 2015. The tables include numbers and rates by common demographic breakdowns, such as age, sex, ethnicity, district health board (DHB) of residence, neighbourhood deprivation.
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 13 February 2018. The data for other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries was sourced from the OECD.