Number of suicides in Netherlands at all time high

Suicide (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Manos Bourdakis)Suicide (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Manos Bourdakis)

Last year a massive 1,871 people committed suicide in the Netherlands, the highest number in the country's history, Statistics Netherlands announced on Thursday. That amounts to an average of five suicides a day in 2015.

The number of people committing suicide in the Netherlands steadily increased over the past years, from 1,353 in 20017 to 1,871 last year. Also compared to the growing population, the suicide rate is increasing. Last year 11.0 people per 100 thousand inhabitants committed suicide, the same level as in the early 90's. Though the suicide rate is still lower than in 1984, when 14.4 people per 100 thousand residents committed suicide.

The suicide rate increased most among people in their twenties, from 104 in 2014 to 133 last year, and people over 60, from 324 to 396.

Compared to 2014, there were 30 more suicides among men last year, while the number of women committing suicide remained virtually unchanged. Suicide is also more common in men than women. Last year 1,280 men committed suicide and 591 women.

Proportionally, most suicides happened among divorced men and widowers - 45 per 100 thousand. This figure is about four times higher than the suicide rate among married men and men who were never married.

Last year suicide was the most common cause of death among people between 20 and 40 years. Of the relatively few people in this age group that died last year, almost a quarter committed suicide - 408 of the total 1,702. Suicide as a cause of death was thereby more common than cancer with 378 deaths, cardiovascular disease with 146 deaths and traffic accidents with 124 deaths.