There were 3,046 registered deaths of people who died due to intentional self-harm (suicide) in Australia in 2018. Suicide is the leading cause of death among people aged 15-44 in Australia, and is a focal point of government from a policy and prevention perspective.
Suicide rates for males and females differ considerably with males consistently accounting for approximately three-quarters of suicide deaths. Of the 3,046 registered suicide deaths, 2,320 were of males and 726 were of females with standardised death rates of 18.6 and 5.7 respectively. Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death for males and the 23rd leading cause for females. While the death rate between sexes is notably different, the median age of death due to suicide is similar at 44.3 years of age for males and 44.7 years of age for females.
Suicide is the leading cause of death for those aged 15-44
Suicide is the leading cause of death for people aged between 15-44 and the second leading cause of death for those aged between 45-54. One measure of premature mortality is years of potential life lost, which weights age at death to gain an estimate of how many years a person would have lived had they not died prematurely . Suicide accounts for the highest number of years of potential life lost among leading cause groups of conditions. In 2018, there were 105,730 years of life lost to suicide. On average, a person who died by suicide in 2018 lost 36.7 years of life.
Men in blue-collar jobs, have some of the highest suicide rates in Australia. People working in construction have double the chance of losing their life to suicide than in any other industry. Data from the National Coronial Information System from 2011 to 2014 show a trend in suicide deaths among male blue collar workers. Suicide deaths by occupation, construction and mining workers had the highest suicide rate at 0.15% or a total of 239 reported cases throughout the period.