Suicide in Wales

Data from 1981 to 2013 were taken from ONS “Suicides in the United Kingdom, 2013 Registrations“. This is based on suicides of those aged 15 and older.

Data for 2014 were taken from Samaritans 2016 Suicide Statistics Report (which contain data up to year 2014 only). This is based on suicides of those aged 10 and older.

Suicide is defined here as deaths classified as resulting from intentional self-harm or injury/poisoning of undetermined intent.

Suicide “rates” are the number of suicides per 100,000 people of the same sex and in the same age range (i.e., 15 and over) in the population in question.

Suicide rates given here are age-standardised for comparability with other European countries.

Suicide rates are plotted against year in Figures 4 and 5, and Figure 6 plots the ratio of male:female suicide rates. Salient features are,

Figure 1: The trend lines indicate female suicide rates in Wales have been reducing significantly over the last 35 years, whilst male suicide rates have barely any downward trend.

Figure 2: Comparison of suicide rates in Wales and the UK as a whole reveal that for women the rates are essentially the same, whilst for men the suicide rate in Wales has been rather larger than in the UK as a whole for the last 20 years. Thus, despite the well known parlous position of men as regards suicide in the UK as a whole, the position of Welsh men is worse.

Figure 3: In 1980 the ratio of male to female suicide rates was less than 2. In Wales now it is about 4. The male:female suicide rate ratio has also increased markedly in the UK as a whole, but the ratio is even more adverse in Wales.

Within the UK in 2009/10, diagnosis of depression was lowest in Wales with around 1 in 12 adults (8 per cent) diagnosed – see “Health” by David Sweet (ONS report).

Figure 1 click to enlarge

Suicide rates in Wales

Figure 2

Suicide rate in Wales cf UK

Figure 3

Suicide rate ratios in Wales

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