Intentional self-harm hospitalisations by age groups
Hospitalisations data for patients with intentional self-harm injuries includes those with and without suicidal intent. For further information see Technical notes.
Rates of hospitalisations for intentional self-harm are higher for females
- two thirds of people hospitalised for intentional self-harm injuries were female (67%, or over 18,000 hospitalisations)
- the rate of intentional self-harm hospitalisations was higher for females than males (139 compared with 69 per 100,000 population)
- the rate for females aged 0–14 increased from 41 per 100,000 population in 2019–20 to 72 per 100,000 population in 2021–22.
A higher rate of intentional self-harm among females is the opposite of what is seen in deaths by suicide, where rates are higher for males than for females (see Deaths by suicide over time). This may, in part, be due to differences between methods used by males and females – with males tending to use more lethal methods than females. In addition, females generally access more health services than males. See Patterns of health service use in the last year of life among those who died by suicide for more details.
Intentional self-harm hospitalisations by age and sex, Australia, 2008–09 to 2020–22.
The bar chart shows the age-specific rates of intentional self-harm hospitalisations for males and females for specific age groups and all ages combined in 2020–21. Users can also view age-specific rate, numbers and the proportion of hospitalisations for intentional self-harm by sex for each age group and year from 2008–09 to 20209–22.
Rates of hospitalisations for intentional self-harm are higher for young people
Between 2008–09 and 2021–22, the rates of intentional self-harm hospitalisations were consistently high for young people. The highest rates in 2021–22 were recorded for:
- females aged 15–19 (637 per 100,000 population), followed by females aged 20–24 (342 per 100,000 population).
The highest rates for males also occurred in these younger age groups but rates were at least 2-fold lower than those of females. For example, in 2021–22:
- the highest rate of self-harm hospitalisations was 152 per 100,000 population for males aged 15–19, while males aged 20–24 reported 144 per 100,000 population.
During 2008-09 to 2020-21, there was a steady increase in the rates for both males and females aged 15–19, while rates in 2021-22 have declined (see Intentional self-harm hospitalisations among young people).