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Almost 60,000 Europeans kill themselves each year. Baltic states see highest rate

Close to 60,000 deaths reported in the European Union in 2014 were suicides, with Baltic states registering the highest rates.

Eurostat numbers published on Wednesday show that out of the 4.9 million deaths reported in the EU in 2014, 58,000 (1.2%) were due to intentional self-harm. Almost 8 in 10 suicides (77%) were committed by men and about half (48%) by a person aged between 40 and 65.

With 32 suicides per 100,000 inhabitants, Lithuania registered by far the highest rate of suicide among the EU Member States. It was followed by Latvia, Hungary, and Slovenia (all with 19 suicides per 100,000 inhabitants), Estonia (18), Belgium, and Croatia (both 17).


The lowest rates of suicide were recorded in Greece and Cyprus (both with 5 suicides per 100 000 inhabitants), Italy (6), the United Kingdom (7), Spain, and Malta (8).

At EU level, the suicide rate stood on average at 11 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants in 2014.

In absolute terms, Germany (10,300 deaths) and France (9,100) were the two Member States recording the most suicides in 2014, followed by Poland (6,000), the United Kingdom (4,500), Italy (4,100), and Spain (3,900).

Suicide is the second leading cause of death globally among young adults in Europe, following road traffic accidents and it accounts for 17.6% of all deaths of young adults in high-income countries.

Moreover, 90% of suicides can be attributed to mental illness in high-income countries and 22% of all suicides are linked to alcohol use.

According to the WHO, only 13 European countries are known to have a national suicide strategy.

John Beckett