The suicide rate in the world has gone down

The proportion of people taking their own lives has fallen over 30 percent globally since 1990, according to a comprehensive analysis. The proportion is still high in parts of the world.

817,000 people took their own life in 2016, which is an increase of 6.7 per cent since 1990. If one takes into account the population growth in the world, it becomes clear that the proportion who commits suicide has declined sharply, it emerges in an analysis published in the UK peer-reviewed medical journal BMJ Thursday.

The suicide rate adjusted for age and population size fell from 16.6 to 11.2 suicides per 100,000 people in 2016, which is a decrease of 32.7 percent. In China, the proportion of suicides has fallen 64.1 per cent from 1990 to 2016, while in Zimbabwe the proportion has almost doubled during the same period, according to the analysis.

Requires effort

“Suicide is considered a cause of death that can be prevented, and this study shows that we should continue the suicide prevention effort,” said Heather Orpana, researcher at Canada’s Public Health Institute and collaborator in the study.

The analysis was conducted by researchers working for the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) disease-funded project, funded by Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

Although the proportion of suicides goes down in the world, scientists warn of still very high suicide rates in several parts of the world.

High proportion in parts of the world

In 2016, 34.5 million years of life were lost, which means the number of years the people who took their own lives together again had to live. The figure is based on average life expectancy in the country where the people lived.

Men take their lives more often than women in all regions and age groups, except in the 15-19 age group. Globally, 15.6 men commit suicide per 100,000 people, while for women the figure is 7.

In Norway, about 500 to 600 people take their own lives each year, which is about 11 per 100,000 inhabitants, according to the Norwegian Institute of Public Health . Two out of three who commit suicide in Norway are men.

The analysis also found that global mortality, including all causes of death, has fallen more than 30 percent since 1990, often due to fewer people living in absolute poverty and more having better access to healthcare.

(© NTB)

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