Suicide: facts and figures

We're the only organisation to collate suicide statistics for the UK, England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and ROI, which we publish in our annual Suicide Statistics Report. 

Download the 2016 Suicide Statistics Report here, or read the key findings below.

Suicide in the UK and ROI

In order to understand and prevent suicide, it is very important that suicide data is as accurate and as comprehensive as possible. Samaritans' Suicide Statistics Report 2016 provides details of the national suicide rates for the United Kingdom (UK) and Republic of Ireland (ROI). There is also additional information about how to understand and interpret suicide statistics, because it’s not always as straight forward as looking at the actual numbers.

Suicide is complex. It usually occurs gradually, progressing from suicidal thoughts, to planning, to attempting suicide and finally dying by suicide.

Source: International Association for Suicide Prevention

Key trends from the Samaritans Suicide Statistics Report 2016

  • There were 6,581 suicides in the UK and Republic of Ireland, in 2014.
  • In 2014, 6,122 suicides were registered in the UK. This corresponds to a suicide rate of 10.8 per 100,000 people (16.8 per 100,000 for men and 5.2 per 100,000 for women).
  • The highest suicide rate in the UK in 2014 was for men aged 45-49 at 26.5 per 100,000.
  • The male suicide rate decreased in the UK (by 5.6%), England (by less than 1%), Wales (by 37.6%), Scotland (by 17.6%), Northern Ireland  (by 10.2%) and Republic of Ireland (by 6.4%) between 2013 and 2014.
  • Female suicide rates increased in the UK (by 8.3%), England (by 14%), Scotland (by 7.8%) and Republic of Ireland (by 14.7%) between 2013  and 2014. Female suicide rates decreased in Wales (by 38.2%) and Northern Ireland (by 17.7%).
  • The female suicide rate in England is at its highest since 2005.
  • The female suicide rate in the UK is at its highest since 2011.

How Samaritans' Suicide Statistics Report is created

To produce the report, we collate the figures from all of the national statistical agencies, who we work closely with to help us understand and compare the rates between the nations.

The report also gives details about how the recording, definitions and calculations of rates differ within the UK and ROI. It does not provide explanations for the trends in suicide rates within or between nations. It also provides important information about how to appropriately use suicide statistics and what some of the challenges with them are.

Download the report here, read the key findings above, or find an overview of the report here.

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