National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

Small increase in suicides

Small increase in suicides

Tuesday, 5 Sep 2023
demography news release image

There were 762 probable suicides in 2022, an increase of 9 from 2021, according to figures published today by National Records of Scotland.  

Female suicides increased by 18 to 206, while male suicides decreased by 9 to 556 deaths in the latest year. The rate of suicide in males was almost 3 times as high as the rate for females.

At local level, the rate was higher than the Scottish average in Highland, Dundee City, East Ayrshire and Perth and Kinross council areas.

Daniel Burns, Head of Vital Events Statistics, said:

“While today’s statistics show a small increase in the number of suicide deaths, the rate of mortality in the last number of years has been fairly steady.

“The longer term trend shows that over the last 30 years the rate of suicides for males is around 3 times as high as the female rate.

“Over the last two decades the average age of death has increased, from a low of 41.9 years in 2000 to 48.2 years in 2022. 

“The figures also show that the rate of suicide in the most deprived areas in Scotland was 2.6 times as high as in the least deprived areas in Scotland.”

Comparable suicide statistics for the rest of the UK for 2022 are yet to be released. However, based on 2021 data, Scotland had the second highest rate of suicide deaths of all countries in the UK after Northern Ireland.  


The National Records of Scotland (NRS) is responsible for producing statistics on Scotland’s population. 

The publication Probable Suicides, 2022 is available on our website.

Guidelines issued by Samaritans on the reporting of suicide are available.

If you are struggling to cope, help is available.

NHS inform has a list of resources available to anyone, with many of these available 24 hours a day.

Samaritans can be called for free on 116 123 or contacted via email at [email protected] . Visit the Samaritans website for more information.

Media enquiries should be directed to: 
Sheena Maguire
[email protected] 
m. 07391414659

Further information about the statistics is available from:
Statistics Customer Services    
Tel: 0131 314 4299
E-mail: [email protected]