An epidemiological profile of suicides in Beijing, China

Suicide Life Threat Behav. Spring 2001;31(1):62-70. doi: 10.1521/suli.


Suicide rates in the Beijing region increase with age. The rural suicide rate is about two to five times of the urban in various age-sex groups. The elderly suicide rate is very serious, especially in the rural area. The average suicide rate for the Beijing region for the period 1987-1996 was 9.8 per 100,000 (6.0 and 17.3 for urban and rural areas, respectively). A low male-to-female ratio was also observed. The female suicide rate for the 15-34 age group was higher than that of its male counterparts, which is unique in other areas of the world. These phenomena can be explained by some of the distinct cultural and economic traits of China. Also, suicides rates in the Beijing region were shown to be on a decreasing trend among the teenaged and the old-age groups. Our findings suggest that the suicide rate in China should not be as high as the estimated rate (31.0 per 100,000), suggested in the Global Health Statistics by Murray and Lopez (1996b, p. 824).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aging / physiology
  • Catchment Area, Health
  • China / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Rural Population / statistics & numerical data
  • Suicide / psychology
  • Suicide / statistics & numerical data*
  • Urban Population / statistics & numerical data