PART 3: CHILDREN'S OUTCOMES - SOCIAL, EMOTIONAL AND BEHAVIOURAL

Youth Suicide

There is an increasing recognition that suicide and deliberate self-harm represent a significant and growing problem in many Western countries. 47

Measure

The number and rate per 100,000 of suicide among children aged 10-17.

Key findings

  • In 2006, suicide among children aged 10-17 accounted for 14 out of a total of 409 suicides in the State (see Table 78).

Table 78: Number and rate (per 100,000) of suicides, by gender and age (2002-2006)

  10-17 years 18-24 years Total
all ages
  Boys Girls Boys Girls
  No. Rate No. Rate No. Rate No. Rate No. Rate
2002 10 10 5 6 81 35 12 5 478 12
2003 17 18 4 5 81 35 14 6 497 12
2004 16 18 2 2 73 32 7 3 493 11
2005 12 14 4 5 72 31 17 7 481 12
2006 10 11 4 5 63 27 17 7 409 10

Source: Vital Statistics, CSO

Differences by gender, age and social class

  • The suicide mortality rate among 10-17 year-olds was higher for boys than for girls (see Table 78). In 2006, the suicide rate for boys aged 10-17 was 11 per 100,000, which was over twice the rate for girls (5 per 100,000).
  • Overall, in 2006, suicide accounted for 14.7% of the total deaths in the 10-17 age group (see Table 79). Suicide accounted for 17.5% of all deaths for boys aged 10-17 and for 10.5% of all deaths for girls aged 10-17.

Table 79: Suicides as a percentage of total deaths aged 10-17, by gender (2002-2006)

  2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
Boys 13.2 26.6 26.7 17.9 17.5
Girls 10.4 14.3 6.9 11.1 10.5
Total 12.1 22.8 20.2 12.6 14.7

Source:Vital Statistics, CSO

Technical notes
Causes of deaths since 1979 have been classified using the 9th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases, Injuries and Causes of Death, as recommended by the World Health Organization.

The population figures used in the calculation of suicide rates per 100,000 people are based on the de facto population present on Census night in any area. This includes visitors present on Census night as well as those in residence, while usual residents temporarily absent from the area are excluded from the Census count.

The number of deaths for teenagers aged between 15-17 years includes a small number of deaths for 10-14 years. The denominator used to calculate the suicide rate for 15-17 year-olds is based on the population of that age group (rather than the population aged between 10-17).

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47 WHO (2005) The European Health Report 2005. Public Health Action for Healthier Children and Populations. Copenhagen: World Health Organization.