More suicides

24/08/2011 15:00

Altogether, 1,600 people in the Netherlands committed suicide last year. For the third consecutive year, the number of suicides increased. Most suicides are middle-aged, but suicide is the main cause of death for 15 to 30-year-olds.

17 percent increase in three years

The suicide mortality rate per 100 thousand in the population is 9.6, an increase by more than 17 percent relative to 2007. The increase comes after a fairly sudden decline in 2006 en 2007. The current level is approximately the same as in the period 2000-2005. Seven in ten victims in 2010 were men. 

Suicide mortality rate, standardised

Suicide mortality rate, standardised

Hanging most frequently used method

The most frequently used methods are suicide by hanging, strangling or suffocating, which increased sharply by 30 percent relative to 2007. Half of men who killed themselves in 2010 used one of these methods versus more than one third of female suicides. The number of train suicides among men dropped from 143 to 129, but rose from 45 to 53 among women.

Suicides by method

Suicides by method

Notable increase among 40 to 65-year-olds

Nearly 60 percent of victims of both genders were 40 to 65-year-olds. The increase in suicides since 2007 was highest in this age bracket. The suicide rate also increased in other age categories, save among 30 to 40-year-olds.

Suicide mortality rate by age

Suicide mortality rate by age

Main cause of death for people aged between 15 and 30

Nearly one quarter of all deaths in the 15 to 30-year-old population were suicides (197 out of 840), making suicide the main cause of death in this age category before fatal traffic accidents (146 deaths) and cancer (131 deaths). For 30 to 45-year-olds suicide is the most common cause of death after cancer and cardiovascular diseases. From the age of 45, other causes of death become increasingly important.

Jan Hoogenboezen