While the global age-standardised suicide rate declined between 2010 and 2016, experts have warned this decline is not fast enough to meet global targets to reduce suicide mortality.
Latest data from the Suicide in the World: Global Health Estimates report show the global age-standardised suicide rate for 2016 was 10.5 per 100,000. Rates varied widely between countries and regions. Suicide rates in the African (12.0 per 100,000), European (12.9 per 100,000) and South-East Asia (13.4 per 100,000) regions were higher than the global average in 2016. The lowest suicide rate was in the Eastern Mediterranean region (4.3 per 100,000). Nearly three times as many men as women died by suicide in high-income countries, in contrast to low- and middle-income countries, where the rate was more equal.
The most common methods of suicide were hanging, pesticide self-poisoning and firearms.
“Despite progress, one person still dies every 40 seconds from suicide,” said WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “Every death is a tragedy for family, friends and colleagues. Yet suicides are preventable. We call on all countries to incorporate proven suicide prevention strategies into national health and education programmes in a sustainable way.”