Last year 1,353 people in the Netherlands deliberately killed themselves. The number of suicides declined noticeably in 2007 relative to the preceding years. Suicide mortality has not been this low since 1975.
Suicide mortality was more than 11 percent lower in 2007 than in 2006, when 1,524 people deliberately killed themselves. The decline is the more remarkable, because the annual death toll from suicide has wavered around 1,500 for a many years.
The decline among women (14 percent) was stronger than among men (10 percent). Three in every ten successful suicide attempts is committed by women.
Fewer suicides across nearly all age categories
The decline in suicide mortality occurred across all age categories save people in their sixties. Most suicide victims are middle aged. Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in young people. One in five deaths aged between 20 and 30 have committed suicide.
Suicide victims by age
Suicide victims relatively often divorced or widowed
Suicide is more common among never-married, widowed or divorced people than among married persons. The suicide rate is highest for divorced men (38 in every 100 thousand) and lowest for married women (3 in every 100 thousand). The suicide rate per 100 thousand declined most among widowers; from 47 in 2006 to 37 in 2007.
Suicides by method
Far more men than women commit suicide by train
The most common method to kill oneself is hanging, strangling or suffocating, but far fewer people applied this method in 2007 than in 2006. Nearly half of male suicide victims in 2007 killed themselves by hanging, strangling or suffocating as against nearly one third of females. The number of train suicides increased marginally from 178 to 187. There is a striking difference between both genders. The number of men who committed suicide by train rose quite sharply from 117 to 142, whereas for women the number of victims dropped from 61 to 45.
Jan Hoogenboezem and Joop Garssen