Whilst the reasons that drive any one person to think, or try, to kill themselves are many and complex, there are significant regional and country variations in suicide rates. It would seem that the country someone lives in, and where within that country, makes a difference to the likelihood of them committing suicide.

In the US, there are huge regional variations in suicide rates. The suicide rate in Wyoming for instance, is more than four times higher than it is in the District of Columbia, and generally the East Coast seems to fare better than the West Coast.

In the UK, regional variations seem much less pronounced than in the US, although Scotland has suicide rates between 50% (for men) and 100% (for women) higher than England.

Looking at a world view, the World Health Organisation publishes suicide rates by country. It would seem small islands are the least likely locations for people to commit suicide – perhaps this is due to less stressful lifestyles and closer knit communities? Places like the West Indies, Caribbean, Jamaica and Barbados all feature very low rates of suicide.

Eastern Europe seems to fare particularly badly, although Japan and certain parts of Europe (Finland and Belgium) are also not great.

Whilst the area and country of residence does clearly impact suicide rates, for anyone feeling suicidal, moving countries might not be the cure, as individual circumstances, attitudes, thoughts and beliefs are often more influential than the area of residence. Which is a shame, otherwise anyone feeling suicidal would simply need to move countries!

To find more detailed information on any of the above, see the links in the sources below.


  1. USA suicide 2012 Official Final Data: CW Drapeau & JL McIntosh for the American Association of Suicidology October 2014 (from www.suicidology.org/Portals/14/docs/Resources/FactSheets/2012datapgsv1d.pdf).
  2. Office for National Statistics (www.statistics.gov.uk), Health Statistics Quarterly 31 Autumn 2006, Suicide trends and geographical variations in the United Kingdom, 1991-2004.
  3. World Health Organisation www.who.int, Suicide rates per 100,000 by country, year and sex, 2008.