Suicide rate lowest in 20 years and lowest in England and Wales

homeless 2London has the lowest rate of suicide of any region of England and Wales but the figures are far from even across the capital and some boroughs have rates that are above the national average.

The latest data available from the Office for National Statistics shows that in 2013 516 Londoners over the age of 15 killed themselves. That is a rate of 7.9 per 100,000 people. This is the lowest rate in the capital in the past 20 years. The highest rate in England is in the North East, and in Wales the rate is double that of London.

Suicide regional rates

The national figures reveal that 3 times more men than women commit suicide. The majority of men killed themselves through suffocation. This is also the most common method among women, but women are more likely than men to poison or drown themselves.

An age breakdown into groups of 5 years shows that people aged 45-49 have the highest rate of suicide. It is rare in those under 20 but climbs steadily up to the 45-49 age group.  Rates drop significantly at retirement age of 65 and only rise again in those over 80.

Because the actual numbers are small we have looked at averages over the past 3 years of data to examine rates at borough level. While the City of London has by far the highest rate the actual numbers are so small given the low population of the area that comparison of rates is not reliable.

In the 32 boroughs, Westminster has the highest rate at 12 per 100,000 people followed by Hammersmith and Fulham with 11.5. These proportions exceed the rate for England for the same period of 10.4 per 100,000 residents. The lowest rates are in Harrow, Greenwich and Newham.

Suicide london map

 

Source data

See also

Low drug-related deaths rates hide middle-aged heroin problem

Low ranking on infant deaths puts London behind other cities

For help and more information: Samaritans