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7. Fewer suicides than before

In 2020, a total of 717 suicides were committed, which was 29 fewer than in 2019. The number of suicides has decreased relatively evenly since 1990, when more than 1,500 suicides were committed in Finland. The number of suicides grew slightly in 2016 to 2017, after which the number of suicides has decreased again.

Men's suicide mortality is higher than women's. Men make up nearly three-quarters of suicides. In 2020, suicide mortality or the annual number of suicides per 100,000 population was 13, being 19 for men and seven for women (Figure 14).

In 2020, men's suicide mortality decreased by seven per cent from the previous year. By contrast, women's suicide mortality grew by five per cent. The number of suicides committed by women grew from the previous year’s 179 to 188. The average age (median) of those who committed suicide was 44 for women and 46 for men in 2020.

In all, 85 suicide victims were young people aged under 25 (2019:109), which is 12 per cent of all who committed suicide. The share of women was over one third. Suicides are a central cause of death for young people. The share of suicides in all causes of death was 26 per cent for young people aged 15 to 24. The share of suicides is higher than in other age groups partly because young people's mortality from other causes of death is low.

Young people's suicide mortality in Finland is high by European comparison. By contrast, for persons aged 65 and over, suicide mortality in Finland has not differed from the EU average in recent years. In Finland, every fifth person having committed suicide in 2020 had turned 65.

The average age (median) of those who committed suicide was 44 for women and 46 for men in 2020. The share of suicides in all causes of death was 1.3 per cent.

Figure 14. Suicides mortality 1971 to 2020

Figure 14. Suicides mortality 1971 to 2020

Source: Causes of death, Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Airi Pajunen 029 551 3605, Kati Taskinen 029 551 3648, Jari Hellanto 029 551 3291, kuolemansyyt@stat.fi

Head of Department in charge: Hannele Orjala


Updated 10.12.2021

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Causes of death [e-publication].
ISSN=1799-5078. 2020, 7. Fewer suicides than before . Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 4.7.2022].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/ksyyt/2020/ksyyt_2020_2021-12-10_kat_007_en.html