Suicide: key points
There were 696 suicides (deaths from intentional self-harm and events of undetermined intent combined) registered in Scotland in 2014, compared to 795 in 2013. These figures are based on the new coding rules introduced by the National Records of Scotland (NRS). The corresponding estimates based on the old coding rules (see note below) are 659 suicides in 2014 and 746 in 2013.
The welcome declining trend in suicide rates in recent years appears to be continuing.
In 2014, the suicide rate for males was more than two-and-a-half times that for females.
- In 2010-14, the suicide rate was more than three times higher in the most deprived tenth of the population (decile) compared to the least deprived decile (24.5 deaths per 100,000 population compared to 7.5).
- While suicide rates are strongly related to deprivation level, this difference or inequality has decreased between 2001-05 and 2010-14.
The suicide rate varies between different areas within Scotland and fluctuates over time. In 2010-14, the rates in Ayrshire and Arran NHS Board, and the local authority areas of Aberdeenshire, East Renfrewshire, Perth and Kinross, and South Ayrshire, were all significantly low compared to Scotland overall. Highland and Inverclyde Local Authorities were significantly higher than Scotland overall.
- Although Scotland appears to have had a higher suicide rate than the UK overall since the early 1990s, this comparison is influenced by differences in data recording practices between countries.
Note: In 2011, NRS changed their coding rules for certain causes of death. Some deaths previously coded under 'mental and behavioural disorders' are now classed as 'self-poisoning of undetermined intent' and consequently are classified as suicides.
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The last major update of this section, adding data on suicides registered in 2014, was completed in August 2015. (Please see the Suicide Statistics technical paper (section 5) for details of changes in methodology for this update.)
The next major update, adding suicides registered in 2015, is due in August 2016.