Data from suicide registers

New South Wales

The New South Wales Suicide Monitoring System (NSW SuMS) was established in October 2020. The NSW SuMS is a collaboration between NSW Health, the Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ), the State Coroner and NSW Police. NSW Health publishes monthly reports on suspected and confirmed deaths by suicide occurring in New South Wales. Data on suspected deaths by suicide are an estimate, and numbers for the same period may differ slightly between reports as the coroners' determinations into the deaths are finalised. Caution is advised against drawing any conclusions about suicide trends in NSW based on short-term changes.

The latest NSW SuMS report for December 2023 shows that (NSW Health 2024):

  • A total of 940 suspected or confirmed suicide deaths was recorded for the full year in 2023. This was lower than the number of suicide deaths in 2022 (962), higher than 2021 (907), and 2020 (896) and similar to 2019 (946).

The number (frequency) of suspected or confirmed suicide deaths per month varies considerably from month to month, as can be seen in the visualisation below when the “Frequency” view is selected. The “Cumulative Frequency” view shows the year-to-date numbers of suicide deaths for each month. From this view it appears that the increase in suicide numbers in 2022 began from around April 2022.

The interactive data visualisation shows the number of suspected and confirmed deaths by suicide in New South Wales, by month, beginning from January 2019 up to February 2023. Viewing can be changed between frequency and cumulative frequency. An average trendline has been included.

The NSW SuMS also reports on suicide deaths by gender, age group and residential location (NSW Health 2024):

  • In 2023, for males, there 734 suspected or confirmed suicide deaths reported in NSW compared with 747 in 2022, 670 in 2021, 673 in 2020 and 733 in 2019.
  • For females, there were 206 suspected or confirmed suicide deaths in 2023, compared with 214 in 2022, 237 in 2021, 223 in 2020 and 213 in 2019.
  • Frequencies of suspected or confirmed suicide deaths were higher among males than females (78% male, 22% female). 
  • Among males, the age groups of 45 to 54 years (145), 55 to 64 years (131), 35 to 44 years (121), and 25 to 34 years (114) recorded the largest number of suicide deaths (20%, 18%, 16% and 16% of all male suicide deaths, respectively).
  • Similarly, for females, the age groups of 35 to 44 (46), 25 to 34 (35), 45 to 54 (34) and 55 to 64 years (31) experienced the greatest number of deaths by suicide (22%, 17%, 17% and 15% of all female suicide deaths, respectively).
  • Among males there was an overall decrease in the number of suspected or confirmed suicides of 13 in 2023 compared to 2022. The age range with the largest decrease was 35 to 44 years with 22 (143 deaths in 2022 compared to 121 in 2023).
  • Among females there was an overall decrease in the number of suspected or confirmed suicides of 8 in 2023 compared to 2022. Among individual age groups there were no decreases greater than 5, although in the 35 to 44 years age group the number of suspected or confirmed suicides increased by 9 (37 in 2022 to 46 in 2023)
  • In each year from 2019 to 2023, around half of suicide deaths in NSW occurred among residents of Greater Sydney, with the remainder comprising residents of the rest of NSW and a small number of interstate/overseas residents.

The interactive data visualisation shows the number of suspected and confirmed deaths by suicide in New South Wales, starting from 2019 up to 2022. The population group is divided by sex (males, females) and age groups, ranging from people under the age of 18 years to 85 years and over. Viewing by location of usual residence can also be selected.

Victoria

The Coroners Court of Victoria (CCOV) established the Victorian Suicide Register (VSR) in 2012 and publishes monthly data reports on suspected and confirmed deaths by suicide. VSR data are regularly reviewed, where deaths may be added or removed from the register as coronial investigations progress and are finalised. VSR data may therefore change over time.

The latest Monthly Suicide Data Report shows (CCOV 2024a):

  • There was a total of 801 suspected or confirmed suicide deaths in 2023. This was higher than the number of suicide deaths in 2022(761), 2021 (679), 2020 (677) and 2019 (697).

The CCOV stated that there was an increase in the number of suicides in 2022 and 2023 compared to the period from 2019 to 2021, which was relatively stable (CCOV 2024b). 

As illustrated below, the monthly frequency data show considerable variation which, according to the CCOV, usually results from random factors rather than underlying systemic issues or emerging clusters (CCOV 2022). The data therefore should be interpreted cautiously, with great care taken in drawing conclusions about any apparent short-term increase or decrease that is observed.

The “Cumulative Frequency” view in the visualisation below shows that the increase in 2022 began in the second half of the year and ‘is in contrast to the preceding four years, in which Victoria had seen a plateau in suicide numbers’ (CCOV 2023a). The number of suspected or confirmed suicides between January and July 2022 was consistent with previous years, with a monthly average of 58 deaths. However, between August and December 2022, the average monthly frequency increased to 71 deaths, which ‘might signal an emerging trend’ (CCOV 2023a). This increase in suspected and confirmed suicide deaths appeared to continue in 2023 with the monthly average of 67 deaths, higher than previous years.

The interactive data visualisation shows the number of suspected deaths by suicide in Victoria, by month, starting from January 2016 to January 2023. Viewing can be changed between frequency and cumulative frequency. An average trendline has been included.


The CCOV also reports on suicide deaths by sex and age group, and incident location (CCOV 2024a, 2024b). For 2023:

  • Suicide frequencies were higher among males than females (72% male, 28% female). However, the overall number of suicides in 2023 showed a more pronounced increase in females (24 more than in 2022) compared to males (16 more than in 2022).
  • Among males, the age groups of 35 to 44 years, 45 to 54 years and 25 to 34 years recorded the largest number of suicide deaths (21%, 19% and 18% of all male suicide deaths, respectively).
  • Similarly, for females, the age groups of 35 to 44 years, 25 to 34 years, and 45 to 54 years experienced the greatest number of deaths (21%, 20% and 18% of all female suicide deaths, respectively).
  • The highest increase in 2023 was seen in people aged the 35 to 44 years, with 168 suspected or confirmed suicide deaths compared to 129 in 2022. 
  • The largest percentage increase was seen in those under 18 years, with an 86% increase in 2023 from 2022 (26 deaths in 2023 compared to 14 in 2022). CCOV investigated the increase in suicide deaths among the under 18 years age group in April 2023, and released a statement noting that the deaths ‘occurred in diverse circumstances across communities in both Metropolitan Melbourne and Regional Victoria, with no clear links established to date between any of the deaths’ (CCOV 2023b).  
  • Consistent with previous years, suicide frequencies remain higher in Metropolitan Melbourne (65%) compared to Regional Victoria (35%).

For a detailed breakdowns of full-year frequencies of suspected and confirmed suicide deaths in Victoria by sex and age group, and incident location can be viewed on the visualisation below.


The interactive data visualisation shows the number of suspected and confirmed deaths by suicide in Victoria, starting from 2018. The population group is divided by sex (males, females) and age groups, ranging from people under the age of 18 to over 65. Viewing by incident location can also be selected.  

The CCOV has also published data on suicides of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (First Nations) people. The number of suspected deaths by suicide in 2022 for First Nations people in Victoria was 18, compared to 34 in 2021, 22 in 2020, 20 in 2019, and 14 in 2018. Of those 18 people who were suspected to have died by suicide in 2022, 13 were male. This compares to 24 in 2021, 14 in 2020, 12 in 2019 and 10 in 2018. There were 5 female suspected deaths by suicide in 2022, compared to 10 in 2021, 8 in both 2020 and 2019, and 4 in 2018 (CCOV 2023d).

Between 2018 to 2022, First Nations people made up an average of 3.1% of people who were suspected or confirmed to have died by suicide in Victoria (CCOV 2023d).

Suicide deaths among First Nation people under 35 years of age accounted for 58% of all First Nations people’s suicide deaths. Whereas suicide deaths among non-Indigenous people under 35 years accounted for 32% of all non-Indigenous suicide deaths (CCOV 2023d).

Queensland

In Queensland there are two systems that are used to monitor suicide deaths, the Queensland Suicide Register (QSR), which includes suicide data since 1990 and is used to monitor longer-term trends, and the interim Queensland Suicide Register (iQSR), which was established in 2011 to provide real-time information on suicide deaths. The QSR contains information on suicide deaths in Queensland for which the coroners' investigations have been finalised, whereas the iQSR records interim data on deaths suspected to be from suicide, shortly after the death occurs. Data on suspected suicide deaths are based on initial police reports and other information that is available to police at the time they refer the death to the coroner. 

Management of the QSR and iQSR was transferred from the Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention (AISRAP) at Griffith University to the Queensland Mental Health Commission (QMHC) in September 2023. Previously, AISRAP published annual reports on suicide in Queensland from the QSR and iQSR. In January 2024, the QMHC commenced publishing monthly data reports from the iQSR. To date, monthly reports have been published for October, November and December 2023, with data dating back to January 2016.

The latest iQSR Monthly Suicide Data Report for December 2023 shows (QMHC 2024):

  • There were 782 suspected suicide deaths in 2023. This was similar to the number of suspected suicide deaths recorded between 2017 and 2022 (range from 770 to 819). In 2016 the number of suspected suicide deaths was 683. 
  • In 2023 three-quarters (75%) of the suspected suicide deaths were male. This proportion is the same or slightly lower compared with full-year data from 2016 to 2022, with males accounting for between 75% and 78% of suspected suicide deaths. 
  • In 2023 there were 583 male suspected suicide deaths, similar to the numbers between 2017 and 2022 (range from 578 to 621). In 2016 the number was lower with 526 suspected suicide deaths among males. 
  • In 2023 there were 199 female suspected suicide deaths, similar to the numbers from 2017 to 2022 (range from 174 to 204). As with males the number of female suspected suicide deaths in 2016 was lower (157).
  • The number (frequency) of suspected suicide deaths per month varies considerably from month to month, as can be seen in the visualisation below when the “Frequency” view is selected. The number of suspected male suicide deaths appears to be higher in the summer months compared to the winter months. When females are selected this pattern is less evident.
  • The “Cumulative Frequency” view shows the year-to-date numbers of suspected suicide deaths for each month. Both male and female suspected suicide deaths in 2016 appear lower than from 2017 to 2023.


The interactive data visualisation shows the age-standardised rate (per 100,000) of suspected deaths by suicide for Queensland residents, by month, starting from January 2019 to December 2021. Choice in sex (persons, males, females) and year (all, 2019, 2020, 2021) are all selectable features.

The iQSR reports on suspected suicide deaths by age group and residential location (QMHC 2024):

  • In 2023 the highest number of suspected suicide deaths by age group was for people aged 65 years and over (150 deaths), followed by those aged 45 to 54 years (149), 25 to 34 years (146), and 35 to 44 years (139). People in the under 18 years age group had the fewest deaths (21). 
  • In 2023 there were 13 fewer suspected suicide deaths than in 2022. The largest decrease in suspected suicide deaths between 2022 and 2023 was in people aged 45 to 54 years with 22 fewer deaths. The largest increase between 2022 and 2023 was for those aged 25 to 34 years with 10 more deaths. For all other age groups, the differences in suspected suicide deaths between 2022 and 2023 was 6 or less. 
  • In each year from 2016 to 2023 over half of the suspected suicide deaths were among people who resided in major cities, around 40% from inner or outer regional areas, and less than 5% from remote or very remote areas.