North East records highest rates of suicide in the country

The region has the highest rates of suicides it has seen in the last five years. Credit: PA Images

The North East has the highest rate of suicides in the England according to new figures from the ONS.

The region recorded the highest rates in men, and women, and overall, per 100,000 in 2021.

  • 14.1 per 100,000 in total.

  • 22.2 per 100,000 in males.

  • 6.4 per 100,000 in females.

These are the highest rates of suicide in the North East in the last five years.

Figures also showed that the rate of registered suicides in England and Wales has risen to pre-pandemic levels following disruption and delays to coroners’ inquests during 2020.

There were 5,583 suicides registered in 2021 – equivalent to a rate of 10.7 deaths per 100,000 people, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

This is consistent with rates in 2018 and 2019, and is significantly higher than the 2020 rate of 10.0 deaths per 10,000 people.

The number of suicides dropped in the year the pandemic swept through the UK, which the ONS said was likely driven by a fall in male suicides and delays in death registrations.

The latest figures include deaths that occurred in 2020 and were registered the following year, and the ONS said they provide evidence that the suicide rate did not increase because of the pandemic.

James Tucker, head of analysis in the ONS’s health and life events division, said: “We saw a significant increase in the rate of deaths registered as suicide in 2021.

“This increase was the result of a lower number of suicides registered in 2020, due to the disruption to coroners’ inquests caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

He added: "The 2021 suicide rate was similar to the pre-pandemic rates in 2018 and 2019.

“The latest available evidence also shows that suicide rates did not increase as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, which is contrary to some speculation at the time.”

Around three-quarters (4,129) of the suicides registered in 2021 involved males, which is consistent with long-term trends.

Men aged between 50 to 54 years had the highest rate (22.7 deaths per 100,000), while for women it was highest in those aged 45-49 (7.8 deaths per 100,000).

Women and girls aged between 10 and 24, and women aged 75 years and over, had the lowest suicide rate (3.6 deaths per 100,000 females).

The ONS said the rate in women and girls under 24 saw its biggest annual increase since records began in 1981 – from 2.5 deaths to 3.6 deaths per 100,000 females.

Rates among young females have been steadily increasing for several years, it added.

In 2021 the rate in London was the lowest since records began.

If you are struggling to cope, call Samaritans for free on 116 123 (UK and ROI) or contact other sources of support, such as: