Perspective: suicide in Europe

Suicide Life Threat Behav. Spring 1997;27(1):127-36.


In many European countries, suicidal behavior constitutes a major public and mental health problem. In most countries, the number of suicides is significantly higher than the number of deaths due to traffic accidents. According to official figures, the suicide rates among European countries differ widely; for example, Hungary has the highest rates. Suicide attempt rates, based on data from the WHO/Euro Multicentre project on Parasuicide, equally show variation; for example, the highest average rate of suicide attempts is for Helsinki, Finland. This paper outlines the epidemiological findings and then presents some hypotheses (e.g., age, ethnic difference) to explain the differences.

MeSH terms

  • Culture
  • Death Certificates
  • Ethnicity
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sex Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Suicide / ethnology
  • Suicide / prevention & control
  • Suicide / psychology
  • Suicide / statistics & numerical data*
  • Suicide, Assisted / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Suicide, Attempted / ethnology
  • Suicide, Attempted / psychology
  • Suicide, Attempted / statistics & numerical data