Sept. 12, 2019

A fact sheet released by the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that suicides account for one death every 40 seconds.

Key Findings of WHO publication: 

  • Close to 8 lakh people die due to suicide every year. In other words, suicides account for one death every 40 seconds.

  • The global age-standardized suicide rate for 2016 was 10.5 per 100 000.

  • While 79% of the world’s suicides occurred in low- and middle-income countries, high-income countries had the highest rate, at 11.5 per 100 000. Europe (12.85) tends to register the maximum deaths due to suicide while Eastern Mediterranean (4.3) reports the lowest average.

  • Nearly three times as many men as women die by suicide in high-income countries, in contrast to low- and middle-income countries, where the rate is more equal.

  • Suicide was the second leading cause of death among young people aged 15-29 years, after road injury.

  • The most common methods of suicide are hanging, pesticide self-poisoning, and firearms.

  • The number of countries with national suicide prevention strategies has increased in the five years since the publication of WHO’s first global report on suicide.

  • Key interventions that have shown success in reducing suicides are restricting access to means; educating the media on responsible reporting of suicide; implementing programmes among young people to build life skills that enable them to cope with life stresses; and early identification, management and follow-up of people at risk of suicide.