Deaths by suicide among young people

Suicide is the leading cause of death among Australians aged 15–24 (see Deaths in Australia). The proportion of all deaths that are deaths by suicide is relatively high among children and young people. This is because people in these age groups do not tend to die from other causes. Data are presented by year of registration, which is not necessarily the same as the year the death occurred. For more information, see Technical notes.

In 2022:

  • 304 Australian young people (aged 18–24 years) took their own lives
  • 77 deaths by suicide occurred among children and adolescents (aged 17 and below) with the majority occurring in those aged 15–17 (83.1%)
  • deaths by suicide represented 30.9% of all deaths in young people aged 15–17 years and 32.4% of all deaths in those aged 18–24 years—up from 16.5% and 23.9% respectively of all deaths in these age groups in 2001. In children aged 14 and below, the proportion of all deaths that are deaths by suicide is low compared with the two older age groups. In 2022 deaths by suicide represented 0.9% of all deaths in children aged 14 and below.

Suicide deaths of children and young people, Australia, 2001 to 2022.

The line graph shows the age-specific rates of suicide for children and young people aged 14 and below, 15–17 and 18–24 from 2001 to 2022. Users can also choose to view the number of deaths by suicide and deaths by suicide as a proportion of all causes of death for each age group over the period.

Throughout 2001 to 2022:

  • rates of death by suicide were highest among young adults aged 18–24 years (13.6 per 100,000 population in 2022) compared to both adolescents aged 15–17 years (6.9 in 2022), and children aged 14 years and below (0.3 in 2022).
  • rates of death by suicide among 18-24 year olds decreased between 2001 and 2009 (15.9 per 100,000 population to 10.3). Then, overall, suicide rates for this age group increased until 2020 (16.7). Afterwhich, there was a decrease to 2022 (13.6) ). However, it is important to note that 2021 and 2022 data are preliminary and subject to change through the revisions process.
  • rates of death by suicide among 15–17 year olds ranged between a low of 3.2 per 100,000 population in 2004 and a high of 8.9 in 2021.