The monthly and weekly distribution of suicide

Soc Sci Med. 1985;21(4):433-41. doi: 10.1016/0277-9536(85)90223-0.


First a review of recent studies of the monthly and weekly distribution of suicide is given. Then the results of an analysis of the mortality figures for Lower Saxony from 1968 to 1977 are presented in which age, sex and means of suicide are taken into consideration. The monthly distribution of all suicides (ICD8 E950-E958) shows a maximum incidence in spring and early summer and a minimum in winter, the weekly distribution a maximum on Monday and minimum at the weekend. In contrast to suicides by hanging, strangulation and suffocation (ICD8 E953) which follow the same pattern, the figures for suicide by poisoning with solid and fluid substances (ICD8 E950) show practically no heterogeneity in both, monthly and weekly distributions. The results are interpreted using Durkheim's concept of 'anomia', drawing an analogy between the days of the week and the months of the year.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Germany, West
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Seasons
  • Sex Factors
  • Suicide / epidemiology*