64th ISI World Statistics Congress - Ottawa, Canada

64th ISI World Statistics Congress - Ottawa, Canada

Suicide in Germany


64th ISI World Statistics Congress - Ottawa, Canada

Format: CPS Paper

Keywords: germany, suicide

Session: CPS 49 - Statistics and health II

Tuesday 18 July 4 p.m. - 5:25 p.m. (Canada/Eastern)


Every year, around 10,000 persons in Germany commit suicide. Comprehensive and reliable statistical data on this phenomenon are an important building block for effective suicide prevention. Based on the official cause-of-death statistics, this article uses data from the relevant 273,000 death cases from the years 1992 to 2016 to investigate four topics of varying complexity.

In the first part, the development of the suicide rate in relation to sex and age of the deceased will be described. The second part will focus on the circumstances of the suicide, in particular the type of suicide. For this purpose, the cases will be clustered into eight types of suicide according to the relevant causes of death (ICD-9: E950-E959; ICD 10: X60-X84) and their dependence on different sociodemographic factors will be examined. Also, the relation between the daily suicide frequency and the day of the week and the day of the month will be discussed. In the third part, a synthetic cohort created for these analyses is used to investigate the distribution of suicides over the calendar year. One focus will be on quantifying the often reported clustering of suicides around Christmas and other holidays. Finally, an attempt will be made to show correlations between the number of suicides and prominent events such as major sporting events. A possible connection between the weather and suicide frequency will also be investigated using the example of the city of Berlin.

Whilst some of these issues have already been discussed, this has generally been done on the basis of much smaller samples and / or individual cohorts. In contrast, the data set used here, and in particular the synthetic cohort, allow for much more far-reaching analyses.