The World Health Organization estimates  that in the year 2000 approximately one million people will die from suicide.  A global mortality rate of 16 per 100,000. One death every 40 seconds.

The WHO further reports that:

    • In the last 45 years suicide rates have increased by 60% worldwide. Suicide is now among the three leading causes of death among those aged 15-44 (both sexes). Suicide attempts are up to 20 times more frequent than completed suicides.

  • Although suicide rates have traditionally been highest among elderly males, rates among young people have been increasing to such an extent that they are now the group at highest risk in a third of  all countries.

  • Mental disorders (particularly depression and substance abuse) are associated with more than 90% of all cases of suicide. However, suicide results from many complex sociocultural factors and is more likely to occur during periods of socioeconomic, family and individual crisis (e.g. loss of a loved one, employment, honour).

In the US, the Centers for Disease Control reports that:

    • More people die from suicide than from homicide. In 1997, there were 1.5 times as many suicides as homicides.

  • Overall, suicide is the eighth leading cause of death for all Americans, and is the third leading cause of death for young people aged 15-24.

  • Males are four times more likely to die from suicide than are females. However, females are more likely to attempt suicide than are males.


Statistics about suicide are difficult to collate, and may be inaccurate because of the sensitivity of the issue, particularly in countries where suicide is an absolute taboo. You can find suicide statistics in the following English language sites:

    • INTERNATIONAL STATS: World Health Organization – for international suicide statistics, including the most recent global stats by country.

  • UK STATS: The UK Samaritans provide statistics for the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.

Statistics for further countries will be added as they become available to us in English or translation from trusted sources.

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