Suicide death rate up to 1,647

Last year, 1,647 Dutch residents committed suicide, an increase by 47 relative to 2010. Suicide death rates are relatively high among men, 40 to 60-year-olds and big city dwellers. The most frequent suicide method is hanging.

Nearly 10 in every 100 thousand people kill themselves

The suicide rate per 100 thousand in the population was 9.9 in 2011. The rate has risen for the fourth consecutive year and is back at the level of the late 1990s and early 2000s. The only year to show a significantly lower rate was 2007.

Suicide mortality rate

Suicide mortality rate

Suicide and economic recession

Various recent international studies corroborate the claim that there is a relation between suicide and economic recession. In the Netherlands and several other countries, the number of suicides has risen since 2008, when the financial crisis started. It is not clear, whether this also applies to the Netherlands.

Mainly middle-aged people

On average, more than four people commit suicide on a daily basis. Seven in ten suicide victims are men (1,136 men versus 511 women). Nearly half of male and female suicide deaths are aged between 40 and 60.

More suicides in major cities

The relatively highest number of suicides is recorded in municipalities with a population in excess of 250 thousand. In the category large municipalities, the suicide mortality rate is approximately 30 percent higher than in municipalities with a population below 100 thousand.

Suicide rates by municipal population, 2011

Suicide rates by municipal population, 2011

Hanging most frequent method

Hanging is the most common suicide method in virtually every age category. Only among young people under the age of 20, jumping in front of a train is the most common method to commit suicide.

Half of male suicides choose to hang themselves. Drug overdose and jumping in front of a train are also relatively common methods among men. One third of women who commit suicide hang themselves and 30 percent die of drug overdose. Proportionally, drowning oneself and jumping from heights are also more common among women than among men.

Suicides by method, 2011

Suicides by mentod, 2011

Jan Hoogenboezem and Kim de Bruin