On 22 January 2013, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) published their bulletin presenting the latest suicide statistics for England and Wales.
They summarise the key points as follows:
- In 2011, there were 6,045 suicides in people aged 15 and over in the UK, an increase of 437 compared with 2010
- The UK suicide rate increased significantly between 2010 and 2011, from 11.1 to 11.8 deaths per 100,000 population
- There were 4,552 male suicides in 2011 (a rate of 18.2 suicides per 100,000 population) and 1,493 female suicides (5.6 per 100,000 population)
- The highest suicide rate was in males aged 30 to 44 (23.5 deaths per 100,000 population in 2011)
- The suicide rate in males aged 45 to 59 increased significantly between 2007 and 2011 (22.2 deaths per 100,000 population in 2011)
- Female suicide rates were highest in 45 to 59-year-olds in 2011 (7.3 deaths per 100,000 population)
It also looks at narrative verdicts at inquests at pages 11-17. The ONS notes that in some narrative verdicts there is information relating to the mechanism such as hanging or poisoning. However, they are concerned that in some narrative verdicts the coroner does not indicate whether the fatal injury was accidental or if there was deliberate intent to self-harm. This may therefore lead them to code probable suicides as accidents, meaning that the official suicide figures may be an underestimate.