Suicide Rate By Country 2019

Suicide occurs throughout the world, affecting individuals of all nations, cultures, religions, genders and classes. In fact, statistics show that the countries with the highest suicide rates in the world are incredibly diverse. For example in 2019, among the top five are the eastern European country of Lithuania (31.9 suicides per 100k), the eastern European country of Russia (31 suicides per 100k), the south American country of Guyana (29.2 suicides per 100k), and the Asian country of South Korea (26.9 suicides per 100k). A number of other eastern European countries have high suicide rates, including Belarus (26.2 suicides per 100k), Suriname and Kazakhstan, both at around 22 suicides per 100k.

In contrast, the only western European nation with a particularly high suicide rate is Belgium, which ranks at number eleven with 20.7 suicides per 100k. However, it is worth noting that Belgium has some of the world's most liberal laws on doctor-assisted suicide, which is likely to be a factor in its statistics. Interestingly, the country of Bhutan, which is famous for measuring Gross National Happiness, an index used to measure the collective happiness and wellbeing of its population, has a moderately high suicide rate at 11.4 per 100k.

Perhaps surprisingly, many of the most troubled nations in the world have comparatively low suicide rates. Afghanistan has 4.7 suicides per 100k, Iraq has three and Syria has just 1.9. It is not clear if the suicide statistics for these countries reflect suicides committed due to mental health problems and terminal illnesses (which are the primary reasons for suicide in most of the world), or if they also include suicides committed as part of the ongoing conflicts in these countries.

The lowest suicide rates in the world are concentrated in the Caribbean Islands of the Bahamas, Jamaica, Grenada, Barbados, and Antigua and Barbuda. Suicide is almost unheard of in each of these countries, with Barbados and Antigua And Barbuda reporting 0.8 and 0.5 suicides per 100k, respectively.

Suicide in South Korea

According to the World Health Organization, the suicide rate in South Korea is the 10th highest in the world. One factor in its high suicide rate is suicides among the elderly. Traditionally, children have been expected to care for their aging parents; however, because this system has largely disappeared in the twenty-first century, many elderly people commit suicide, so they do not feel like they are a financial burden on their families.

In addition to the elderly, students have higher-than-average suicide rates, at least in part because their families tend to put high levels of pressure on them to succeed academically. When they do not achieve the goals that their parents have set for them, they may feel that they have dishonored their families and commit suicide. Alcohol use, sleep deprivation, stress, and poor social relationships can put students at increased risk of suicide.

One of the most common methods of committing suicide in South Korea is poisoning via carbon monoxide. Additionally, many choose to jump off a bridge. In the capital city of Seoul, the Mapo Bridge has earned the nickname “The Bridge of Death” or “Suicide Bridge” because of how many people jump off of it.

The government of South Korea is making efforts to curb the suicide epidemic. It is striving to increase access to mental healthcare, a necessity as 90% of suicide victims in South Korea may have a diagnosable and treatable mental health condition. It is also providing education to community leaders to help prevent suicides at a local level.

Suicide in Japan

In Japan, suicide borders on a crisis level, though the government has been active in intervention to decrease the risk of suicide among vulnerable populations. It is the leading cause of death in men among the ages of 20-44 and for women among the ages of 15 to 34.

In Japanese culture, suicide, in some circumstances, has long been viewed as an honorable way to die. Consider the kamikaze pilots during World War II, whose greatest honor was to dive-bomb a plane into an Allied warship and die in the process. The practice of military suicide has been going on since at least the time of the Samurai warlords and is one factor in Japan’s high suicide rate.

Japanese men are twice as likely to commit suicide as their female counterparts, particularly after a divorce. Of special concern is suicide among men who have recently lost their jobs and are no longer able to provide for their families. They may feel that they have dishonored themselves and their families and that suicide is the honorable way out of the situation. With a high cultural tolerance for suicide, many older adults end their lives after they retire. Aokigahara Forest, at the base of Japan’s Mount Fuji, is a hotspot for suicides, as hundreds of people go there each year to end their lives. Police regularly patrol the area for suicide victims and survivors.

Suicide in Sweden

Sweden has a very low suicide rate, but this rate can be misleading because it may not account for physician-assisted suicide, which is legal there. In 2012, Sweden only had 12 reported suicides per 100,000 people.

Historically, Sweden has had a high suicide rate, with the most suicides in the developed world during the 1960s. That may have been due, at least in part, to cultural attitudes regarding suicide and long, dark winters, particularly in the northern regions. The government responded to the crisis with social welfare and mental health services, and the numbers have dropped dramatically. Today, Scandinavian countries – Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland – have very high rates of happiness and relatively low suicide rates. However, the dark winters – 20 hours of darkness or more in each day in some areas – causes seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a form of depression, which has been known to correlate with higher rates of suicide.

Euthanasia, or physician-assisted suicide, is still illegal in Sweden but is accepted in some instances. A physician may not administer lethal drugs to a terminally ill patient, but he or she may end life support of the patient requests doing so and demonstrates that he or she understands the consequences. This form of physician-assisted suicide, known as passive euthanasia, is not included in suicide statistics. Active euthanasia, in which a physician administers lethal drugs to a terminally ill patient with the consent of the patient and family, may become legal in Sweden within the next few years, as it is becoming more accepted in European countries.

Suicide in China

In China, suicide is the fifth leading cause of death and accounts for over one-quarter of suicides worldwide. In contrast with many Western countries, in which men are more likely to commit suicide, most suicide victims in China are women. China’s economic boom has led to greater independence for women, who are now much more able to get divorced as a means of dealing with domestic violence. However, the strain of divorce means that they must work long hours while raising their children, often without the support of family that the culture has traditionally relied on in the past.

When women are showing the strain of their stressful lives and are admitted to a hospital for psychiatric care, they are actually likely to be discharged must sooner than their male counterparts. They feel that they need to return to their jobs and families as quickly as possible, even if they are not yet ready to do so. Additionally, many insurances do not cover hospital stays in cases of attempted suicide. These strains have exacerbated suicide among Chinese women.

People in rural parts of China are as much as five times more likely to commit suicide than people in cities. This notion may be attributed to a lack of mental healthcare, the stigma associated with mental illnesses (such as schizophrenia), poverty, and poor education. However, exact statistics are hard to come by because few to no epidemiological studies on suicide have been carried out by the Chinese government.

Most suicide attempts in China are carried out with a pesticide or other poison.

* Rates are per 100,000 people
Flag Name Suicide Rank Total Suicide Rate Male Suicide Rate Female Suicide Rate Total Per Year
Lithuania131.958.19.5894
Russia23155.99.445,178
Guyana329.243.714.4227
South Korea426.938.415.413,765
Belarus526.246.98.22,477
Suriname622.834.710.9131
Kazakhstan722.538.37.64,122
Ukraine822.441.16.39,911
Latvia921.237.67.3409
Lesotho1021.217.824.4447
Belgium1120.727.813.82,377
Hungary1219.129.79.61,854
Slovenia1318.630.46.9386
Japan1418.52611.423,532
Uruguay1518.429.28.3635
Estonia1617.830.66.6235
France1717.723.911.711,503
Switzerland1817.22212.41,466
Croatia1916.525.67.9686
Equatorial Guinea2016.423.57.7215
India2116.317.814.7220,481
Poland2216.228.94.36,143
Finland2315.923.98.1878
Moldova2415.927.94.7
Austria2515.623.97.71,387
Serbia2615.623.58.11,373
United States2715.323.67.2
Sweden2814.819.110.51,476
Sri Lanka2914.623.56.43,099
Kiribati3114.424.1517
Thailand3214.423.45.99,998
Iceland331422.35.647
Portugal341422.26.51,436
Cuba3513.922.15.81,576
El Salvador3613.724.24.5880
Germany3713.619.77.711,305
Trinidad And Tobago3813.6234.5189
Luxembourg3913.518.68.382
Australia4113.219.573,287
Mongolia431322.63.5412
Denmark4412.817.38.2736
Slovakia4512.822.73.5698
Netherlands4612.616.292,150
Canada4712.518.174,634
Bolivia4812.215.88.6
Cameroon4912.217.17.43,076
Nicaragua5012.219.35.3789
Norway5112.215.98.4651
New Zealand5212.117.96.6574
Haiti5311.7176.51,301
South Africa5411.618.74.76,704
Bulgaria5511.518.25.1811
Ireland5611.518.54.6554
Bhutan5711.4148.586
North Korea5911.214.18.52,862
Micronesia6011.115.86.3
Zimbabwe6110.715.761,545
Chile6210.617.241,985
Romania6310.417.93.32,029
Montenegro6410.315.45.365
Benin659.913.95.91,137
Dominican Republic669.916.83.11,052
Singapore679.913.86.1570
Uganda689.910.79.14,230
China699.79.110.3138,482
Sierra Leone709.711.38.1742
Togo719.612.86.4757
Nigeria729.59.99.218,608
Paraguay739.512.46.5661
Botswana749.314.24.5210
Seychelles759.316.42.49
Argentina769.215.13.54,081
Burundi779.113.44.91,017
United Kingdom788.913.54.4
Bosnia And Herzegovina798.814.13.6293
Chad808.810.37.41,362
Nepal818.89.77.92,472
Namibia828.714.13.6213
Spain838.713.14.54,062
Laos848.611.45.7
Yemen858.511.35.62,422
Kyrgyzstan868.313.23.5523
Georgia878.214.22.7328
Italy888.212.14.54,971
Sudan898.112.243,386
Costa Rica907.913.52.4395
Eritrea917.912.33.6273
Macedonia927.911.93.9
Mauritius937.813.32.499
Myanmar947.85.99.54,189
Saint Lucia957.813.52.214
Burkina Faso967.710.25.31,521
Central African Republic977.711.54359
Malta987.512.12.833
Uzbekistan997.49.94.82,403
Turkey1007.311.43.36,011
Vietnam1017.310.93.7
Colombia1027.211.62.83,576
Ethiopia1037.211.23.17,864
Ecuador1047.110.33.91,213
Gabon1057.110.73.2150
Comoros1066.89.93.657
Liberia1076.87.16.6328
Djibouti1086.794.364
Rwanda1096.79.73.8824
Turkmenistan1106.710.13.5392
Armenia1116.610.82.8195
Qatar1126.68.50.9184
Brazil1136.5103.113,616
Albania1146.37.94.7182
Guinea1156.37.55782
Zambia1166.18.83.51,058
Papua New Guinea11768.63.3516
Senegal11869.32.9951
Bahrain1195.98.41.993
Bangladesh1205.94.779,521
Malaysia1235.57.83.21,734
Ghana1245.48.72.11,607
Israel1255.48.12.7453
Tanzania1265.47.73.2
Cambodia1275.37.82.9861
Cyprus1285.38.22.363
Libya1295.28.12.2347
Gambia1305.16.63.7116
Mexico1315.182.36,436
Fiji13257.52.444
Greece13358.12526
Mozambique1344.97.42.51,445
Peru1354.97.22.71,567
Mali1364.86.92.7916
Afghanistan1374.77.61.51,747
Angola1384.772.51,448
Belize1394.77.91.618
Solomon Islands1404.76.82.631
Somalia1414.76.33.1705
Niger1434.65.93.31,032
Timor Leste1444.66.22.958
Vanuatu1454.56.62.213
Mauritania1464.46.62.2194
Samoa1474.46.71.99
Panama1484.37.41.2180
Iran1494.153.1
Egypt15046.41.53,937
Guinea Bissau15144.73.375
Madagascar1523.95.62.21,024
Oman1533.95.60.8188
Malawi1543.75.81.6671
South Sudan1553.74.92.6406
Venezuela1563.76.31.1
Tonga1573.54.32.74
Indonesia1583.44.829,101
Tunisia1593.44.42.3393
Lebanon1603.34.22.4226
Algeria1613.24.71.71,351
Kenya1623.25.11.21,645
Philippines1633.24.323,413
Saudi Arabia1643.24.51.51,078
Iraq16533.42.61,153
Honduras1662.94.41.5278
Jordan1672.93.62.2289
Morocco1682.92.33.41,045
Pakistan1692.92.736,155
United Arab Emirates1702.83.60.7270
Guatemala1712.73.71.8466
Azerbaijan1722.64.21.1259
Tajikistan1732.53.71.3228
Saint Vincent And The Grenadines1742.43.90.93
Kuwait1752.32.81.795
Maldives1762.331.312
Sao Tome And Principe1772.331.65
Jamaica1782.23.3165
Bahamas1801.730.57
Grenada1811.71.51.92
Barbados1820.810.52
Antigua And Barbuda1830.500.9