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CSO statistical release, , 11am

Suicide Statistics


Deaths by suicide classified by year of occurrence and sex 2000-2011
YearMale Female Total 

Rise in the number of suicides in 2011

Fig. 1  Standardised total, male and female suicide death rates 2000-2011 (Per 100,000 population)
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  • In 2011, there were 554 deaths from suicide in Ireland, 59 more than in 2010 and 2 more than in 2009.  The previous highest number of deaths from self-harm was in 2001 when there were 519 deaths.
  • There were 458 male suicides (or almost 83% of the total) compared with 96 female suicides in 2011.  A similar pattern arises for earlier years, for example, there were 395 male deaths from suicide in 2000 which was over 81% of the overall total of 486 suicides.
  • The age-standardised death rate1 from suicide was 12.1 deaths per 100,000 in 2011, up from 10.9 in 2010.   See table 1.
  • On an age-standardised basis, male suicide rates were five times higher at 20.5 deaths per 100,000 compared with female suicide rate of 4.0 in 2011.  In 2010, the rates were 20.5 for males and 4.1 for females.  In the years from 2000 to 2011, rates were generally between 4 to 5 times higher for men than for women.  See table 1 and fig. 1.
  • Within age groups, male suicide rates were highest in the 45-64 age-group (28 per 100,000) while women’s were highest in the 25-44 age-group (almost 7 per 100,000).  The number of deaths from self-harm decreases after the age of 44. 
  • The most common methods of suicide in Ireland in 2011 were by hanging, strangulation and suffocation (which accounted for 407 or 73.5% deaths), followed by drowning and submersion (46 or 8.3%) and then by self-poisoning (44 or 7.9%).  See table 3.
  • The standardised suicide rate in 2010 (latest available data) was 11.8 per 100,000 of population for the EU-28 Member States compared with 10.9 in Ireland2.  The rate was highest in Lithuania at 32.9 and lowest in Greece at 3.3.  The comparable rate for the United Kingdom was 6.8.  See table 4 and fig. 2.

1Please see the background notes for further information on the calculation of age-standardised rates.
2The figures should be interpreted with care as suicide registration methods vary between countries.  Attitudes to suicide, the level of proof required for a verdict or classification of suicide etc., are also factors to be considered when comparing data between countries.