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Suicide statistics and trends for the UK and Republic of Ireland.
We’re the only organisation that collates suicide statistics for the UK, its nations, and the Republic of Ireland. We publish these annually in our Suicide Statistics Report.
In order to understand and prevent suicide, it’s important that the data on suicide is as accurate and as comprehensive as possible.
Here is a summary of the key facts and trends from suicides that occurred in the UK and Republic of Ireland in 2017 (as collated and analysed in our 2018 Annual Report). You can download the full report below.
Key facts (2017)
- In 2017 there were 6,213 suicides in the UK and Republic of Ireland.
- Of these, 5,821 suicides were registered in the UK and 392 occurred in the Republic of Ireland.
- In the UK, men are three times as likely to take their own lives than women.
- In the Republic of Ireland, men are four times more likely to take their own lives than women.
- In the UK, the highest suicide rate was for men aged 45-49.
- In the Republic of Ireland, the highest suicide rate was for men aged 25–34 (with an almost identical rate for men aged 45–54).
- In Northern Ireland, suicide rates for both men and women are higher than other UK nations – however rates are not necessarily directly comparable.
Key trends (2017)
- In the UK, there has been a significant decrease in male suicide. The male suicide rate is the lowest in over 30 years.
- In Scotland, the overall suicide rate decreased between 2016 and 2017 – this appears to be driven by a decrease in the female suicide rate.
- In Scotland, suicide in young men increased for the third consecutive year in 2017.
- In Northern Ireland, the suicide rate has remained relatively stable between 2016 and 2017. There was an increase in the male suicide rate and decrease in the female rate.
- In the Republic of Ireland, suicide has continued to fall in both men and women.
- In the Republic of Ireland, rates have fluctuated more than in the UK in recent years, but they are currently at their lowest since 1989.
How do we get suicide statistics?
There are challenges to accurately recording and reporting the number of deaths by suicide. This video shows the journey to suicide statistics and what the challenges are.
Why do we look at suicide statistics?
At Samaritans, we monitor suicide statistics to make sure we reach those most at risk, and prevent suicide. Watch this video to find out more.
Three key principles for using suicide data
It’s not always easy to interpret suicide statistics. This video outlines three key principles for understanding and using suicide data.