New Zealand’s suicide rate has risen for the first time in four years, according to provisional data from the Chief Coroner.
The data released by Chief Coroner Judge Deborah Marshall shows that 564 people took their own lives in the year to June, up from 529 last year.
The suicide rate increased from 11.73 for every 100,000 people in the year to June last year to 12.27 this year, breaking a steady decline from a recent peak of 12.65 in 2010-11.
In the longer term, Ministry of Health data show that the age-standardised suicide rate fluctuated at around 10 for every 100,000 people for about 35 years up to 1985, then jumped to between 13 and 15 during the economic reforms and associated high unemployment in the 1990s.
The rate dropped back to around 12 in the year 2000 and has fluctuated at around that level ever since.