Social Indicators Research

, Volume 137, Issue 1, pp 189–201 | Cite as

Cluster Suicides Among Unemployed Persons in Australia Over the Period 2001–2013

  • Allison Milner
  • Lay San Too
  • Matthew J. Spittal


There has been no research on whether particularly vulnerable people such as the unemployed are prone to being in a suicide cluster (defined as an unusually high number of suicides occurring in a defined geographical area and/or over a relatively brief period of time). We investigated the presence of unemployed suicide clusters in Australia over the period 2001–2013 using a Poisson discrete scan statistic approach. Spatial, temporal and spatial/temporal clusters comprised 13.4, 4.4 and 1.7% of all unemployed suicides respectively. These results suggest the importance of targeting preventative efforts in where large numbers of unemployed persons who have died by suicide resided before death.


Unemployment Suicide Cluster Temporal Spatial Job loss 



Funding was provided by Australian Rotary Health, Deakin University and American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (SRG-1-091-13). We thank Suzanne Mavoa for her suggestions regarding the analytic approach.

Supplementary material

11205_2017_1604_MOESM1_ESM.docx (65 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 65 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Health Equity, Melbourne School of Population and Global HealthThe University of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Centre for Population Health Research, School of Health and Social DevelopmentDeakin UniversityBurwoodAustralia
  3. 3.Centre for Mental Health, Melbourne School of Population and Global HealthThe University of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia

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