National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

Fewer suicides in Scotland

Fewer suicides in Scotland

Tuesday, 2 Aug 2022
demography news release image

There were 753 probable suicides in Scotland in 2021, a decrease of 52 (6%) from 2020, according to new figures from the National Records of Scotland.

Most of the decrease in the past year can be attributed to a fall in female suicides, which decreased by 42 (18%). The rate of suicide in males was 3.2 times as high as the rate for females.

Suicide rates are highest between the ages of 25 and 64.

Julie Ramsay, Head of Vital Events Statistics said:

“The number of people dying from suicide fell to its lowest level since 2017.

"The decrease in the most recent year was mainly driven by a fall in the number of female suicides.”

After adjusting for age, the rate of suicide in the most deprived areas in Scotland was nearly three times as high as in the least deprived areas in Scotland. This is a wider gap than deaths from all causes.

At health board level, Highland, Tayside and Ayrshire and Arran had higher suicide rates than the Scottish average. At council level, suicide rates were higher in Highland, Dundee City, East Ayrshire and Glasgow City.


National Records of Scotland (NRS) is a non-ministerial department of the devolved Scottish Administration. It is responsible for producing statistics on Scotland’s population.

The publication Probable Suicides, 2021 is available on our website.

Media enquiries should be directed to:
Susie Rose
NRS communications
Tel: 07500 463452
Email: [email protected]

Further information about the statistics is available from:
NRS Customer Services
Email: [email protected]