Suicide highest among men

12/08/2002 10:00

In the year 2000 about 1500 people ended their own lives. This is just over 1% of the more than 140 thousand persons who died in the Netherlands. It is more than the number of people who died in traffic accidents. The number of suicides has been constant for years.

Suicide the main cause of death among people in their thirties

The number of suicides among people in their twenties and thirties is 15%, which is a major share in the total death rate in this age bracket. For the ages 30-40 suicide is actually the number one cause of death, for people in their twenties suicide comes second, after traffic accidents.

This relatively high rate among young people is also due to the relatively low mortality rate from disease in this age bracket.

The total number of suicides among men is much higher than among women: on average twice as high. With people under thirty the men’s share is more than three times as high.

Suicides by sex and age, 2000

Hanging the number one suicide method

Almost 40% of the people committing suicide ended their lives by hanging themselves. This is the most frequently used method among men and women. Among men it concerns even half of all suicides. Other frequently used methods are taking medication and/or alcohol, getting in front of a train, and drowning. The percentage of people using trains to kill themselves is about the same for men and for women. Women twice as often take medication and/or alcohol with fatal results.

Suicide method, 2000

Over half of all suicides takes place in and around the house

Nine times out of ten it is known where people committed suicide. Over half of all suicides take place in and around the victim’s home. Of this group almost 60% opted for hanging themselves and almost 20% for medication and/or alcohol. About 10% of all suicides takes place on the railroad tracks. In 8% of all cases the suicide takes place by drowning in open water (sea, river or lake). Not all drownings take place in open water, though. Some people drown themselves at home.

Location of suicide, 2000

Ingeborg Keij