Suicides

Updated: 14 Dec 2020
Next update: 10 Dec 2021

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.

   

Fewer suicides than in the previous year

In 2019, a total of 746 suicides were committed, which was 64 fewer than in 2018. The number of suicides has decreased relatively evenly since 1990, when more than 1,500 suicides were committed in Finland. The number of suicides grew slightly in 2016 to 2017, after which the number of suicides has decreased again.

Men's suicide mortality is higher than women's. Three out of four of the persons who committed suicide were men. In 2019, suicide mortality or the annual number of suicides per 100,000 population was 14, being 21 for men and 6 for women.

Suicide mortality has decreased by 30 per cent in ten years, in relative terms more for women than for men. The decrease in suicide mortality has been most clearly visible among middle-aged persons and least visible in younger age groups. Suicide mortality among young women aged under 25 has even increased in ten years.

Suicides are a central cause of death for young people. Among the causes of death for young people aged 15 to 24, the share of suicides was over one third in 2019. Among young people, the share of suicides in all causes of death is high because young people’s mortality from other causes is low. In 2019, there were 109 suicide victims aged under 25, which is 15 per cent of all who committed suicide.

Young people's suicide mortality in Finland is high by European comparison. According to Eurostat's preliminary statistics for 2017, suicide mortality among young people aged 15 to 24 was higher in Finland than in other EU countries. By contrast, for persons aged 65 and over, suicide mortality in Finland has not differed from the EU average in recent years. In Finland, nearly every fourth person having committed suicide in 2019 had turned 65.

In 2019, the average age (median) of persons who committed suicide was 47 years for both women and men.