Aim: To provide a systematic update of the evidence concerning the relationship between economic recession and suicide.
Methods: A keyword search of Ovid Medline, Embase, Embase Classic, PsycINFO and PsycARTICLES was performed to identify studies that had investigated the association between economic recession and suicide.
Results: Thirty-eight studies met predetermined selection criteria and 31 of them found a positive association between economic recession and increased suicide rates. Two studies reported a negative association, two articles failed to find such an association, and three studies were inconclusive.
Conclusion: Economic recession periods appear to increase overall suicide rates, although further research is warranted in this area, particularly in low income countries.
Keywords: Economic recession; Suicide; Systematic review; Time series; Unemployment.