A total of 508 people died by suicide in New Zealand in 2013, accounting for 1.7% of all deaths.
In 2013, the highest rates of suicide were for males, Māori (especially Māori youth), youth aged 15–24 years and those living in the most deprived areas.
The age-standardised suicide rate has decreased by 27.4% from the peak rate of 15.1 deaths per 100,000 population in 1998 to 11.0 deaths per 100,000 population in 2013.
There were 365 male suicides (16.0 per 100,000 males) and 143 female suicides (6.3 per 100,000 females) in 2013.
For every female suicide, there were 2.5 male suicides.
Over time, the suicide rate for females has remained relatively stable while the male suicide rate has fluctuated. In 2013, the male rate was 33.2% lower than its highest rate in 1995.
The highest rate of suicide in 2013 was in the youth age group (15–24 years), and the lowest rate was in adults aged 65 years and over.
Over recent years, the suicide rate for adults aged 45–64 years has increased, while the rate for adults aged 25–44 years has decreased, closing the gap between these two age groups.
Youth (15–24 years)
In 2013, the youth suicide rate was 18.0 deaths per 100,000.
There were twice as many male youth suicides as female youth suicides in 2013.
Suicide rates in 2013 showed a marked difference between Māori and non-Māori youth, a trend consistent with previous years.
Over time, youth suicide rates for males and females of Māori ethnicity, have been consistently higher than rates for their non-Māori counterparts.
For the period 2009–2013 (aggregated), the highest rate of suicide was in the Māori ethnic group (16.0 per 100,000 Māori), followed by European and Other (11.5 per 100,000 Europeans and Others).
Among males, the Māori suicide rate was nearly twice that for Pacific and more than three times that for the Asian ethnic group.
From 2004 to 2013, Māori suicide rates were consistently higher (at least 1.2 times) than non-Māori rates each year.
In 2013, the suicide rate increased with each level of neighbourhood deprivation; the rate of suicide in the most deprived areas (quintile 5) was twice the rate in the least deprived areas (quintile 1).
For youth aged 15–24 years, the number of suicides was four times as high in the most deprived areas compared with the rate in the least deprived areas.