Suicide in selected occupations in Queensland: evidence from the State suicide register

Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2010 Mar;44(3):243-9. doi: 10.3109/00048670903487142.


Objective: Prior research has suggested an association between suicide and certain occupations. The aim of the present study was to report on suicide rates in selected occupations in Queensland (QLD).

Method: Suicide mortality data from the QLD Suicide Register and population data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics were obtained for the period 1990-2006. Suicide rates were calculated for each occupational group and compared to rates within the general population (15-64 year age group) and the employed population of QLD.

Results: There was significantly higher risk of suicide for male subjects in the agricultural, transport and construction sectors of QLD. High suicide rates were also found in female nurses, artists, agricultural workers and cleaners, while education professionals (of both genders) appeared at lower risk.

Conclusions: The significantly higher suicide rates for employees of the agriculture, construction, and transport industries indicate a need for further research into the occupation-specific conditions and individual or other social-environmental factors that may accentuate suicide risk within these professions. Use of higher quality occupational data is also warranted in future studies.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mortality
  • Occupations / classification
  • Occupations / statistics & numerical data*
  • Queensland / epidemiology
  • Registries*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Suicide / psychology
  • Suicide / statistics & numerical data*
  • Young Adult