Suicides

Updated: 16 Dec 2019
Next update: 14 Dec 2020

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.

   

Number of suicides fell slightly from the previous year

The number of suicides has decreased relatively evenly since 1990, when more than 1,500 suicides were committed in Finland. Suicides increased slightly in 2016 to 2017, but in 2018 the growth in the number of suicides halted. During 2018, a total of 810 suicides were committed, which was 14 fewer than in 2017.

Suicide mortality has decreased by over 20 per cent in ten years, more for men than women. However, men still committed clearly more suicides than women. Three out of four of the persons who committed suicide were men. In 2018, suicide mortality or the annual number of suicides per 100,000 population was 15, being 23 for men and 7 for women.

During the last ten years, the decrease in suicide mortality is most clearly visible among middle-aged persons. In contrast, the suicide mortality among persons aged under 25 and aged 65 or over has not decreased in a similar way. The average age of those who committed suicide was 50 for women and 48 for men.

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 is over one-third. Among young people, the share of suicides in all causes of death is high because young people’s mortality from other causes is low. Last year, there were 99 suicide victims aged under 25, which is 12 per cent of all who committed suicide.

Young people's suicide mortality in Finland is high by European comparison. According to Eurostat's statistics for 2016, suicide mortality among young people aged 15 to 24 was higher in Finland than in the EU countries on average. By contrast, for persons aged 65 and over, suicide mortality in Finland did not differ much from the EU average.