Sustainable Development Goals - 17 Goals to Transform our World

In 2018

  • There were 6,507 suicides registered in the UK, an age-standardised rate of 11.2 deaths per 100,000 population; the latest rate is significantly higher than that in 2017 and represents the first increase since 2013.
  • Three-quarters of registered deaths in 2018 were among men (4,903 deaths), which has been the case since the mid-1990s.
  • The UK male suicide rate of 17.2 deaths per 100,000 represents a significant increase from the rate in 2017; for females, the UK rate was 5.4 deaths per 100,000, consistent with the rates over the past 10 years.
  • Scotland had the highest suicide rate in GB with 16.1 deaths per 100,000 persons (784 deaths), followed by Wales with a rate of 12.8 per 100,000 (349 deaths) and England the lowest with 10.3 deaths per 100,000 (5,021 deaths); figures for Northern Ireland will be published later this year by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency.
  • Males aged 45 to 49 years had the highest age-specific suicide rate (27.1 deaths per 100,000 males); for females, the age group with the highest rate was also 45 to 49 years, at 9.2 deaths per 100,000.
  • Despite having a low number of deaths overall, rates among the under 25s have generally increased in recent years, particularly 10 to 24 year old females where the rate has increased significantly since 2012 to its highest level with 3.3 deaths per 100,000 females in 2018.

See the ONS 2018 report for more information and a definition for suicide.

Information on the suicide prevention profile is available from Public Health England. If you are struggling to cope, please call Samaritans free on 116 123 (UK and Ireland), email jo@samaritans.org, or visit the Samaritans website to find details of the nearest branch.

Select the following link to download this indicator data in an accessible format:
3.4.2 Suicide mortality rate (CSV 582.543 kB)

Suicide mortality rate per 100,000 population

Sub-categories

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This table provides metadata for the actual indicator available from UK statistics closest to the corresponding global SDG indicator. Please note that even when the global SDG indicator is fully available from UK statistics, this table should be consulted for information on national methodology and other UK-specific metadata information.

Indicator available

Suicide mortality rate

Indicator description

Suicide mortality rates in the United Kingdom

Geographical coverage

United Kingdom

Unit of measurement

Rate per 100,000 population

Definitions

Data on suicide concern all deaths that were assigned underlying cause of intentional self-harm (for those aged 10 years and above). We also include deaths caused by injury or poisoning of undetermined intent (for those aged 15 years and above), based on the assumption that the majority of these deaths will be suicide. This is referred to as the National Statistics definition of suicide. Further information is available here - https://fingertips.phe.org.uk/profile-group/mental-health/profile/suicide

Available disaggregations
Calculations
Other information

1) Figures are for deaths registered, rather than deaths occurring in each calendar year. Due to the length of time it takes to complete a coroner’s inquest, it can take months or even years for a suicide to be registered. 2) The large increase seen in Northern Ireland between 2004 and 2006 coincides with a change to the Coroners’ Service. Prior to April 2006, there were seven Coroners’ districts in Northern Ireland. Following a review of the Coroners’ Service, the separate districts were amalgamated into one centralised Coroners’ Service. 3) Further Quality and Methodology information is available here - https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/methodologies/suicideratesintheukqmi Data follows the UN specification for this indicator. This indicator has been identified in collaboration with topic experts.

Data last updated 2019-10-04: see changes on GitHub opens in a new window
Metadata last updated 2019-10-18: see changes on GitHub opens in a new window

This table provides information on metadata for SDG indicators as defined by the UN Statistical Commission. Complete global metadata is provided by the UN Statistics Division.

Indicator name

3.4.2 Suicide mortality rate

Target name

3.4 By 2030, reduce by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well-being

Global indicator description
UN designated tier

Tier I

UN custodian agency

World Health Organisation (WHO)

Link to UN metadata United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Metadata (PDF 65.1 KB) opens in a new window
Organisation

Office for National Statistics (ONS)

Periodicity

Annual

Earliest available data

1981

Geographical coverage

United Kingdom

Link to data source Suicide in the United Kingdom opens in a new window
Release date

03/09/2019

Next release

TBC

Statistical classification

Official Statistic

Contact details

mortality@ons.gov.uk

Other information