Suicide Rates In UK At Highest Rate For 16 Years

There were a total of 6,507 suicides registered in the UK in 2018.

Suicide rates in the UK have hit their highest level since 2002, with official figures showing the first increase in numbers in five years.

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that males and females aged 45 to 49 had higher suicide rates than any other age group.

The UK male suicide rate of 17.2 deaths per 100,000 represents a significant increase from the rate in 2017, with males aged 10-24 years and those aged 75 years and above particularly affected.

There were a total of 6,507 suicides registered in the UK in 2018, 686 more deaths than 2017. This is the first increase since 2013 and brings the rate to the same it was 16 years ago in 2002.

Overall suicide rates among females aged under 25 grew to the highest level recorded in 2018.

Nick Stripe, ONS head of Health Analysis and Life Events, said the reasons for the spike were unknown.

“We saw a significant increase in the rate of deaths registered as suicide last year which has changed a trend of continuous decline since 2013.

“While the exact reasons for this are unknown, the latest data show that this was largely driven by an increase among men who have continued to be most at risk of dying by suicide.

“In recent years, there have also been increases in the rate among young adults, with females under 25 reaching the highest rate on record for their age group.

“Looking at the overall trend since the early 80s, we are still witnessing a gradual decline in the rate of suicide for the population as a whole.”

Useful websites and helplines:

  • Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393
  • Samaritans offers a listening service which is open 24 hours a day, on 116 123 (UK and ROI - this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill.)
  • The Mix is a free support service for people under 25. Call 0808 808 4994 or email:
  • Rethink Mental Illness offers practical help through its advice line which can be reached on 0300 5000 927 (open Monday to Friday 10am-4pm). More info can be found on

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