Updated: 30.12.2016 - Next update: 29.12.2017

The number of suicides decreased further in 2015

According to Statistics Finland’s statistics on causes of death, altogether 731 suicides were committed in Finland in 2015, which is around 60 fewer than in the year before. Suicide mortality has decreased by 40 per cent in fifteen years. Suicides have decreased most among men aged 35 to 44. However, men still committed clearly more suicides than women: of those who committed suicide, three out of four were men. Most suicides in relative terms were committed by men aged 45 to 54 and aged 75 or over.

The number of suicides has decreased clearly from the top figures of 1990, when there were over 1,500 suicides in Finland. Since then, suicide mortality has decreased almost continuously according to statistics. In 2015, suicide mortality was 40 per cent lower than 15 years ago. However, nearly three times as many persons died of suicides than in traffic accidents. In 2015, among one hundred thousand Finns, 13 committed suicide (21 among men and six among women).

Most suicides in relative terms were committed by men aged 45 to 54 and aged 75 or over

The relative number of suicides has decreased since 2000 in all age groups. Among men, suicide mortality decreased most in the age group 35 to 44 and least in the age group 55 to 64. Differences between age groups in suicide mortality have narrowed. In 2015, most suicides per 100,000 inhabitants were committed by men aged 45 to 54 and aged 75 or over. Among women, suicide mortality was highest in the age group 45 to 54 and lowest in the age group 15 to 24. The median average age of men who committed suicide was 48 years and of women 51 years.

In 2015, the share of suicides in all causes of death was only one per cent. However, suicides are a central cause of death for young people. One in three persons aged 20 to 29 that died had committed suicide and one in six of those aged 35 to 44. The share of suicides in causes of death for young people is high because other mortality among young people is low. One in ten of all those having committed a suicide was a young person aged under 25 and one in five was aged over 65.

Despite the downward trend in suicide mortality, Finland is still an exception among Nordic and western countries. According to Eurostat’s statistics, the suicide mortality in Finland of the population aged under 65 was around 1.5 times higher than the EU average in 2013. By contrast, for persons aged 65 and over, suicide mortality in Finland did not differ from the EU average.

Statistics Finland / Causes of death

Description of indicator

Statistics Finland produces statistics on causes of death and on the development of mortality. The statistics on causes of death are compiled from data obtained from death certificates, which are supplemented with data from the population information system of the Population Register Centre.

The statistics on causes of death cover the persons who have died in Finland or abroad during the calendar year and who at the time of death were domiciled in Finland.