There were 504 deaths by suicide in Ireland in 2020 according to data released by Ireland’s Central Statistics Office (CSO) today, November 14.

"Death due to suicide was the number one cause of death in 2020 for those aged 15 to 34 years of age," Seán O'Connor, Statistician in the Vital Statistics section of the CSO, said on Tuesday.

"The proportion of deaths due to suicide has been increasing for females over the last number of years. In 2012, the share of deaths was 18.8%, and rose to 27.4% in 2020."

According to the CSO, for the period 2012 to 2020, 2012 had the highest number of deaths due to suicide with 585 deaths occurring, followed by 2014 with 578 deaths. 

At present, since 2012, 2015 had the lowest number of deaths occurring due to suicide with 500 such deaths.

The proportion of deaths due to suicide in Ireland was higher for males in every single year of this analysis with 2014 having the highest share at 81.7%.

O'Connor noted that a "lag" can occur when reporting deaths by suicide. The 2020 Annual Report, published on October 28, 2022, indicated 465 deaths occurred due to suicide in 2020, but updated figures, referenced in the new CSO release, show that figure increased by 8.4% to 504 deaths.

Help is available if you, or someone you know, has thoughts of suicide:

☎️ Call @PietaHouse24/7 on 1800 247 247 or text 'HELP' to 51444 📷
☎️Call @samaritans on 116 123
☎️@HSELive Your Mental Health Info Line 24/7 on 1800 111 888

Check out our release above for more.

— Central Statistics Office Ireland (@CSOIreland) November 14, 2023

Suicide and Age in Ireland, 2020

Of the 504 deaths due to suicide in Ireland in 2020, the highest proportion was of those aged from 40 to 44 years at 12.3%.

Over half (53.4%) of deaths due to suicide in 2020 were of those aged up to 44 years.

Nearly one in every ten deaths due to suicide in 2020 were to those aged 65 and older, which has remained broadly similar over the years.

Males aged between 40 and 44 account for 9.3% of deaths due to suicide in 2020, the highest proportion by cohort.

In 2020, 138 female deaths occurred due to suicide, with those aged 35 to 39 years and 50 to 54 years accounting for the highest share, jointly (13%).

At the State level, the crude suicide rate for 100,000 of the population was 10.0 overall, with it being 14.7 for males and 5.4 for females.

In 2020, both males and females aged 50 to 54 years have the joint highest crude suicide rate per 100,000 and 25.7 for males and 11.2 for females.

Suicide and Regions in Ireland, 2020

In 2020, just over two out of every ten deaths due to suicide occurred in the Dublin region, a trend broadly similar between males and females.

Both the Midland and South-East regions accounted for the lowest shares of national suicides with 8.5% and 8.3%, respectively.

In 2020, while 1.5% of all deaths were due to suicide, nationally, regions such as the Midlands (2.3% of all deaths in region), Border (1.8%), Mid-East (1.7%), West (1.6%), and Mid-West (1.6%) had shares above the national average.

For the South-East (1.4%), South-West (1.3%), and Dublin (1.2%), the share of deaths due to suicide, relative to all deaths within the region, were below the national average in 2020.

There are national guidelines in place in Ireland for the reporting of suicides.

*If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts, you are encouraged to reach out in Ireland to Samaritans for free on 116 123, Pieta House at 1800 247 247, or by texting HELP to 51444. Text About It also provides help 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and can be reached by texting HELLO to 50808. In the US, you can reach out to the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.