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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/suicide-prevention-profile-november-2018-update/statistical-commentary-suicide-prevention-profile-november-2018-update
New in this update
A selection of indicators have been updated for every county and unitary authority in England. For the full list see ‘recent updates’ section (November 2018) of the suicide prevention profile.
All values in these headlines are given at England level unless otherwise stated. Values are given in the format of “value (95% lower confidence interval (CI), 95% upper CI)”.
This update shows:
- between 2013 to 2015 and 2015 to 2017, the number of registered suicides decreased from 14,429 to 13,846
- between 2013 to 2015 and 2015 to 2017, the age-standardised suicide rate decreased from 10.1 (10.0, 10.3) to 9.6 (9.4, 9.7) deaths per 100,000 population
- there were 10,392 male suicides registered between 2015 and 2017, an age-standardised rate of 14.7 (14.4, 15.0) deaths per 100,000 population
- there were 3,454 female suicides registered between 2015 and 2017, an age-standardised rate of 4.7 (4.5, 4.8) deaths per 100,000 population
- the highest age-specific suicide rate exists among males aged 35 to 64 years
Age-standardised suicide rates: persons
In England, between 2013 to 2015 and 2015 to 2017, the number of registered suicides decreased from 14,429 to 13,846. There was also a decrease in the age-standardised suicide rate from 10.1 (10.0, 10.3) to 9.6 (9.4, 9.7) deaths per 100,000 population.
Variation in age-standardised suicide rates exists across England. Between 2015 and 2017, the age-standardised suicide rate by county and unitary authority ranged from 6.1 (4.1, 8.5) to 17.9 (14.3, 22.2) deaths per 100,000 population.
Age-standardised suicide rates: broken down by males and females
75% of all registered suicides between 2015 and 2017 were males. There were 10,392 male suicides registered between 2015 and 2017, an age-standardised rate of 14.7 (14.4, 15.0) deaths per 100,000 population.
3,454 female suicides were registered between 2015 and 2017, an age-standardised rate of 4.7 (4.5, 4.8) deaths per 100,000 population.
Age-specific suicide rates: males
4,595 suicides were registered for males aged 10 to 34 years between 2013 and 2017, a rate of 10.5 (10.2, 10.8) deaths per 100,000 population. Over the same time period, 10,465 suicides were registered for males aged 35 to 64 years, a rate of 20.1 (19.8, 20.5) deaths per 100,000 population.
Additionally, 2,721 suicides were registered for males aged 65 years and over, a rate of 12.4 (11.9, 12.9) deaths per 100,000 population. The highest age-specific suicide rate exists among males aged 35 to 64 years (Figure 1).
Figure 1: Age-specific suicide rates: England, males (10 years and over), between 2011 to 2015 and 2013 to 2017
Source: Office for National Statistics (ONS) mortality statistics
This release is based on the National Statistics definition of suicide. This definition includes deaths from intentional self-harm for persons aged 10 years and over, and deaths where the intent was undetermined for those aged 15 years and over.
Deaths from an event of undetermined intent between the age of 10 and 14 years are not included. It is assumed that for older teenagers and adults that the harm was self-inflicted, however for younger children it is not clear whether this assumption is appropriate.
Quality and methodology
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. Coroners certify about a quarter of all deaths. Coroners can only certify cause of death following a post-mortem by a pathologist, an inquest or both. Training for coroners is organised through the Ministry of Justice.
The process of referral to a coroner and how referred deaths are dealt with varies between coroners’ areas. “Short form” verdicts such as accident or misadventure, natural causes, suicide and homicide make up the majority of all verdict conclusions.
Alternatively, “narrative” verdicts can be used by a coroner or jury to express their conclusions about the cause of death following an inquest. In recent years, there has been a large increase in the number of narrative verdicts returned by coroners in England and Wales.
Differences in how coroners across the UK operate, in the past and present, make comparison and the identification of important trends more complex.
For further information refer to:
- guide to coroners statistics
- methodology: suicide rates in the UK
- methodology: user guide to mortality statistics
- an analysis of coroners’ inquest data
The suicide prevention profile
The suicide prevention profile has been produced to help develop understanding at a local level and support an intelligence driven approach to suicide prevention. It collates and presents a range of publically available data on suicide, associated prevalence, risk factors, and service contact among groups at increased risk.
It offers planners, providers and stakeholders with the means to profile their area and benchmark against similar populations.
Data are presented in the following domains:
- suicide data
- related risk factors
- related service contacts
The domains group data by geography (clinical commissioning group (CCG), county, unitary authority or district) and within that, they are ordered by topic. For example, the ‘related service contacts’ domain presents data on primary care, improving access to psychological therapies (IAPT), specialist care and emergency care.
For more publically available data and information relating to suicides in the UK see ‘Suicides in the UK Statistical bulletins’ produced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
View the suicide prevention profile.
Responsible statisticians: Maria McKelvey, Gabi Price. Product lead: Julia Verne.
For queries relating to this publication, please contact: email@example.com
Where to go for help
If you are having suicidal thoughts or struggling to cope, please call Samaritans free on 116 123 (UK and Ireland), email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the Samaritans website to find details of the nearest branch.