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Release: Suicides in the United Kingdom, 2012 Registrations

Released: 18 February 2014


Joanne Evans

Telephone: +44 (0) 1633 455898

Categories: Health and Social Care, Health of the Population, Causes of Death, Population, Mortality Rates, Deaths, Suicides and Intentional Self-harm, Suicide Rates

Frequency of release: Annually

Language: English

Geographical coverage: UK

Geographical breakdown: Region

  • In 2012, 5,981 suicides in people aged 15 and over were registered in the UK, 64 fewer than in 2011.

  • The UK suicide rate was 11.6 deaths per 100,000 population in 2012, but there are significant differences in suicide rates between men and women. Male suicide rates were more than three times higher at 18.2 male deaths compared with 5.2 female deaths per 100,000 population.

  • The highest suicide rate was among men aged 40 to 44, at 25.9 deaths per 100,000 population.

  • The most common methods of suicide in the UK in 2012 were hanging, strangulation and suffocation (58% of male suicides and 36% of female suicides) and poisoning (43% of female suicides and 20% of male suicides).

  • In 2012 in England, the suicide rate was highest in the North West at 12.4 deaths per 100,000 population and lowest in London at 8.7 per 100,000 population.

  • The median registration delay for deaths where suicide was the underlying cause of death was 155 days in England and Wales and 144 days in Northern Ireland. In Scotland, the time taken to register a death did not exceed the allocated eight days.

About this bulletin

This bulletin presents the latest suicide statistics for the UK, England (including figures for regions) and Wales. New figures are presented for 2012 with a back series of data covering 1981 to 2011 to allow comparison. The potential impact of the use of narrative verdicts by coroners on suicide rates at regional level in England, and in Wales, is also presented. A brief discussion of registration delays in relation to suicide statistics is also included.

Additional information

Information about the underlying mortality data, including details on how the data is collected and coded, data quality and legislation are available in the Mortality metadata and Quality and Methodology Information for Mortality Statistics in England and Wales.

Specific information about the quality of suicide deaths data can be found in the Quality and Methodology Information (QMI) paper.

Mortality Statistics: Deaths registered in England and Wales (Series DR) is an annual publication containing a range of detailed reference tables, including the number of deaths broken down by cause of death, sex and five-year age group. 

The 20th Century Mortality Files are a record of mortality in England and Wales from 1901 to 2000 while the 21st Century Mortality Files are a record of mortality in England and Wales from 2001 onwards.

Injury and Poisoning mortality, England and Wales presents annual data on deaths from injury and poisoning in England and Wales using a matrix of mechanism by intent developed by the International Collaborative Effort (ICE) on injury statistics.

Deaths related to drug poisoning presents the latest figures on drug-related deaths in England and Wales. Figures are presented by cause of death, sex, age and substance(s) involved in the death.

UK data

For mortality data for other UK countries please see statistics on deaths in Scotland and statistics on deaths in Northern Ireland.


As a user of our statistics, we would welcome your feedback on this publication.

Please get in touch either via email at or telephone on +44 (0)1633 455898.

Pre-release access 

Content from the Office for National Statistics.
© Crown Copyright applies unless otherwise stated.