5 pct. fewer suicides in Netherlands last year

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Last year a total of 1,829 people in the Netherlands took their own life, a decrease of nearly five percent compared to the 1,917 people who died by suicide in 2017, Statistics Netherlands reported on Tuesday.

Of the people who died by suicide last year, 1,176 were men and 653 were women. The number of men ending their own lives has been around twice as high as that of women for years, according to the stats office. However, the number of suicides among men decreased by 10 percent last year, while the number among women increased slightly.

The number of young people between the ages of 10 and 20 years who took their own lives decreased from 81 in 2017 to 51 last year. This means that the number of suicides among young people is back at the level of 2016 and before, after an increase in 2017, the stats office said. The number of suicides among people in the age group 20 to 40 increased from 400 in 2017 to 464 in 2018.

Last year the number of people between the ages of 40 and 60 who died by suicide was 12 percent lower than in 2017. The decreased in this group is entirely attributable to men. Suicides by men in this age group decreased by 20 percent last year. 

In 2018 a total of 10.6 persons per 100 thousand Netherlands residents took their own life. The suicide rate is therefore back at the level of 2012. This rate was highest in the early 1980s, when 14.5 per 100 thousand residents died by suicide, and lowest in 2007 with 8.4 per 100 thousand residents. 

Those in the Netherlands who are suffering from depression or contemplating suicide may call counselors at Sensoor, 0900-0767 (5 ct./min.), or call their volunteers at a local number. 113 Zelfmoordpreventie is also available 24/7 at number 0900-0133 A list of suicide crisis hotlines outside the Netherlands is available on Wikipedia.

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