Suicide Statistics

Suicide statistics

The latest statistics on suicide and attempted suicide in Sweden, Stockholm County and the rest of the world can be found on this page. The latest statistics information and reports appear at the top of the page, and older statistics can be found lower down the page.

The data source for these statistics comes from the Causes of Death Register, Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare, which is annually updated .

More detailed information about the Swedish Causes of Death registry at the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare

More information about how are suicide statistics calculated can be found at the bottom of this page.



Statistical reports from NASP

The latest statistical reports produced by NASP are listed here:

Suicide in Sweden (2014)

Suicide in Stockholm (2014)

Suicide in the world (2014)


How are suicide statistics calculated?

Suicide statistics are calculated for Sweden and the Stockholm County, and also to monitor developments in Europe and the world. Once a year, new suicide data is presented for Sweden. The data is obtained from the National Board of mortality registries, and further analysed at NASP.  The word suicide comes from the Latin word 'suicidium' and is composed of 'sui' which means self and 'caedere' which means dead.

What determines a death is due to suicide?

When someone dies, a death certificate is issued by a doctor. Diagnosis is therefore by physicians using the information available. In each case of suicide, the doctor has to distinguish between "certain" and "uncertain" diagnosis.

According to the International Classification of causes of death and disease (ICD), "certain" suicide cases are where there is no doubt that the intention was to kill him/herself, while the classification of "uncertain suicide" is used when one is unsure of the intent behind the death, that is, if it was a deliberate act or an accident.

In Sweden, the proportion of uncertain suicide is relatively high. Of the 100 certain and uncertain suicides, about 20 cases are uncertain, with major differences between men and women. The most uncertain cases can be attributed to different types of poisoning. An under-reporting of suicide occurs if you choose to list only "certain" diagnoses. As much as 70-75 percent of the uncertain suicides have, following psychological studies have turned out to be due to suicide. So merging certain and uncertain suicides creates overall a more accurate picture.

Suicides can also be hidden among the deaths of the elderly, where suicide can be classified as a disease. In addition, suicides can also be hidden amongst fatalities which are often incorrectly classified as traffic accidents.

Registration of suicide

From 1997 is the tenth version of the International Cause of Death classification (ICD-10) set by the World Health Organization. Previously, during 1987-1996 the ninth version (ICD-9) was used.

ICD-10 (1997-) ICD-9 (1987-96)
Deaths due to intentional self-destructive act (certain suicide) X60-X84 E950-E959
Deaths due to injury event with unknown intent (uncertain suicide) Y10-Y34 E980-E989

Suicide rate

Suicide rate (SR's) = number of suicides per 100 000 persons for all or part of the population in one year.

Suicide attempts

The data registered on suicide attempts is obtained from the Board's patient registry, for patients receiving inpatient care in connection with the suicide attempts. Based on questionnaire studies, the estimated proportion of cases of suicide attempts in care in hospital account for about half of all suicide attempts.

Statistical problems with suicide attempt

The statistics are limited to those individuals who received inpatient care in connection with a suicide attempt, and generalizations to suicide in general should be made with caution.

A further complication is that a person can be added for the attempted suicide several times during the same year and/or recur over several years. A significant proportion of people who attempt suicide may later die later due to suicide.

Changes in treatment methods make it difficult to compare the incidence of suicide attempts over time. Improved treatment, such as overdose, means that fewer need to be hospitalized, which means fewer registrations.