Move the mouse over the lines and bars on the graphs to see the percentage of each suicide method used. Click on a tab in the key to remove that line or bar from the graph; click on the tab again to restore it.
Between 1996 and 2015 the most common methods of suicide used were hanging, strangulation and suffocation. The proportion of suicides using these methods increased from about 40% to 60%. In the same period the use of poisoning by gases and vapours decreased from about 30% to 9%. Use of other methods did not change much over time.
For males, hanging, strangulation and suffocation were generally used most commonly in all life-stage groups. For those aged 65 years and over the use of firearms was also relatively common. For females aged less than 45 years the methods of suicide were similar to males of the same age. The use of hanging, strangulation and suffocation increased over the time period for this group. The use of poisoning was more prominent among older females, with the proportion of females using poisoning from solids and liquids increasing with each life-stage group.
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Source: Suicide Facts: Data tables 1996-2015, Ministry of Health, 2018