Deaths by suicide by remoteness areas
About 28% of the Australian population live in regional and remote areas—areas outside Australia’s major cities. There are many positive aspects about living in regional and remote areas, including higher levels of life satisfaction compared with those in urban areas (Wilkins 2015), increased community interconnectedness and social cohesion, and higher levels of community participation, volunteering and informal support from their communities (Ziersch et al. 2009). However, Australians living in these areas face unique challenges due to their geographic isolation, and often have poorer health and welfare outcomes than those living in major cities.
For further information on how the statistics reported here were calculated see Technical notes.
Suicide deaths by remoteness area, Australia, 2010 to 2022.
The line graph shows the age-standardised rates of suicide for Very Remote, Remote, Outer Regional and Inner Regional areas and Major Cities from 2010 to 2022. Users can also choose to view age-standardised rates and numbers of deaths by suicide for remoteness areas by sex.
Are people in regional and remote areas at greater risk of deaths by suicide?
From 2001 to 2022:
- numbers of deaths by suicide were highest in Major Cities and fell as remoteness increased, while age-standardised suicide rates tended to increase with the increasing remoteness
- suicide rates for residents of Major Cities were the lowest of all 5 remoteness areas each year and remained relatively stable over the period (ranging from 9.2 deaths per 100,000 population in 2006 to 11.7 in 2017)
- suicide rates in Very Remote areas fluctuated between 2001 and 2022, with the lowest rate recorded in 2003 (17.6 deaths per 100,000 population) and the highest in 2007 and 2016 (29.1). The rate of suicide in Very Remote areas was 27.3 in 2001 and 24.5 in 2022. Fluctuations in rates are due largely to the small population and small numbers of deaths by suicide in these areas
- suicide rates for residents of Remote areas also fluctuated over the period, ranging from 10.6 per 100,000 population in 2009 to 23.7 in 2022
- suicide rates in Inner Regional and Outer Regional areas were generally higher in the second half of the period, with lows of 11.4 and 12.1 per 100,000 population, respectively, in 2006 and highs of 17.1 and 20.1, respectively, in 2019
- the greatest proportion of deaths by suicide occurred in Major Cities and remained relatively stable at 61.3–66.7% over the period.
- the age-standardised suicide rate for residents of Major Cities (10.5 deaths per 100,000 population) was lower than the national rate of 12.3 deaths per 100,000 population
- rates for residents of all other remoteness areas were above the national rate
- the rate for residents of Very Remote areas (24.5 deaths per 100,000 population) was 2.3 times that of the rate for residents of Major Cities (10.5 deaths per 100,000 population); however, numbers of deaths were relatively small (46 deaths in Very Remote areas and 2,030 in Major Cities)
- the proportion of deaths by suicide occurring in Major Cities in 2022 was 63.1%.
Wilkins R 2015. The Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey: selected findings from waves 1 to 12. Melbourne: Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research.
Ziersch A, Baum F, Darmawan I, Kavanagh A & Bentley, R 2009. Social capital and health in rural and urban communities South Australia. Australian and New Zealand journal of public health 33:7–16. Adelaide: Flinders University.