The Progress of Nations: The Industrial World

Youth suicide league

About four times as many young males as females commit suicide in the industrialized nations, according to the latest figures from WHO.

Japan and most Western European nations have relatively low rates of youth suicide - fewer than 15 cases a year for every 100,000 young males. The highest rates - more than 30 cases per 100,000 - are found in Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, New Zealand, the Russian Federation, and Slovenia.

A 1994 study by the Task Force on Suicide in Canada linked suicide among young people to sexual and emotional abuse, stress, unplanned pregnancy, problems concerning sexual preference, unemployment, imprisonment, and running away from home.

The suicide index

Deaths by suicide and self-inflicted injury per 100,000 aged 15-24, 1991-1993

MalesFemalesM/F ratio (rounded)
Greece 3.80.85
Portugal 4.32.02
Italy 5.71.64
Spain 7.12.23
Netherlands 9.13.82
Sweden 10.06.71
Japan 10.14.42
Israel 11.72.55
United Kingdom 12.22.35
Germany 12.73.44
Denmark 13.42.36
France 14.04.33
Bulgaria 15.45.63
Czech Rep. 16.44.34
Poland 16.62.57
Ukraine 17.25.33
Hungary 19.15.53
Austria 21.16.53
Ireland 21.52.011
United States 21.93.86
Belarus 24.25.25
Canada 24.76.04
Switzerland 25.04.85
Australia 27.35.65
Norway 28.25.25
Estonia 29.710.63
Finland 33.03.210
Latvia 35.09.34
Slovenia 37.08.44
New Zealand 39.96.26
Russian Fed. 41.77.95
Lithuania 44.96.77

Religious and social strictures against suicide may result in some under-reporting in some nations.

SOURCE WHO, World Health Statistics Annual 1993 and 1994, 1994 and 1995.


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