• An estimated 703 000 people die by suicide worldwide each year.1   
  • Over one in every 100 deaths (1.3%) in 2019 were the result of suicide.1 
  • The global suicide rate is over twice as high among men than women.1  
  • Over half (58%) of all deaths by suicide occur before the age of 50 years old.1  
  • A previous suicide attempt is the strongest risk factor for death by suicide.2 

  • Globally, suicide is the fourth leading cause of death in 15-29-year-olds.2  
  • Suicide occurs across all regions in the world, however, over three quarters (77%) of global suicides in 2019 occurred in low- and middle-income countries.2   
  • While most deaths by suicide occur in low- and middle-income countries, the highest age-standardised suicide rate (10.9 per 100,000) is within high-income countries.1  
  • Approximately one fifth (20%) of all suicides are the result of pesticide ingestion, particularly in rural agriculture settings. Hanging and firearms are also common methods of suicide.2  
  • While the global rate of suicide is showing signs of a decline,1 this is not the case in all countries and may be indicative of greater surveillance or access to data.  

  • Experiences of conflict, disaster, violence, abuse, or loss and a sense of isolation are risk factors associated with suicidal behaviour.2  
  • Suicide rates are high within vulnerable groups who are subjected to discrimination including refugees, migrants, prisoners, indigenous people, and individuals from the LGBTI community.1  
  • An individual suffering with depression is twenty times more likely to die by suicide than someone without the disorder.3   
  • Suicide remains illegal in over 20 countries, while people who engage in suicidal behaviour may be punished in some countries that follow Sharia law, involving legal penalties that range from a small fine or short prison sentence to life imprisonment. 4  

  1. World Health Organization. Suicide worldwide in 2019: global health estimates. Available from: https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/9789240026643. [Accessed 13 July 2021]
  2. World Health Organization. Suicide: key facts. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2021 [cited 2021 July 20]. Available from: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/suicide
  3. Ferrari AJ, Norman RE, Freedman G, Baxter AJ, Pirkis JE, Harris MG, Page A, Carnahan E, Degenhardt L, Vos T, Whiteford HA. The burden attributable to mental and substance use disorders as risk factors for suicide: findings from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. PlOS One. 2014 Apr 2;9(4):e91936.
  4. Mishara BL, Weisstub DN. The legal status of suicide: A global review. International journal of law and psychiatry. 2016 Jan 1;44:54-74.