The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician, who has been asked to reply.
Letter from Colin Mowl, Director of Macroeconomics and Labour Market, to Lord Roberts of Llandudno, dated 27 February 2008.
The National Statistician has been asked to reply to your recent Question asking how many people under the age of 25 committed suicide in each of 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000 and 2007. I am replying in her absence. (HL2029)
The table below contains numbers of suicides in persons aged under 25 in England and Wales for the years requested up to 2006, the latest year for which data are available.
Figures are provided separately for those aged under 15 and those aged 15-24, because of different definitions of suicide used by ONS for these age groups. Figures for the latter age group also include deaths which are classified by ONS as being due to injury/poisoning of undetermined intent. Details of the definitions used are included in the footnote to the table. There were no deaths in children aged under 13 with a suicide verdict for the years requested.
Before the Suicide Act of 1961 it was not possible for a coroner to return an open verdict and so deaths could not be coded to injury/poisoning of undetermined intent. The figures for 1960 are therefore only for deaths with a verdict of suicide and are not comparable with data for later years.
Suicide2 Suicide2 and injury/poisoning of undetermined intent3 Ages 13-14 15-24 1960 7 247* 1970 2 404 1980 3 512 1990 2 745 2000 1 555 2006 3 399
Suicide2 and injury/poisoning of undetermined intent3
1 Figures are for deaths registered in each calendar year.
2 The cause of death for suicide was defined using the International Classification of Diseases, Seventh Revision (ICD-7) codes E970-E979 for 1960, Eight Revision (ICD-8) codes E950-E959 for 1970, Ninth Revision (ICD-9) codes E950-E959 for the years 1980, 1990 and 2000, and Tenth Revision (ICD-10) codes X60-X84 for 2006.
3 In England and Wales it has been customary to assume that most injuries and poisonings of undetermined intent, in those aged 15 and over, are cases where the harm was self-inflicted but there was insufficient evidence to prove that the deceased deliberately intended to kill themselves. ONS therefore includes in its suicide statistics both those deaths from intentional self-harm, and those from injury/poisoning of undetermined intent. The cause of death for injury/poisoning of undetermined intent was defined using the International Classification of Diseases, Eight Revision (ICD-8) codes E980-E989 for 1970, Ninth Revision (ICD-9) codes E980-E989 excluding E988.8 for the years 1980, 1990 and 2000, and Tenth Revision (ICD-10) codes Y10-Y34 excluding Y33.9 where the Coroner's verdict was pending for 2006.
* This figure only includes deaths with a coroner's verdict of suicide as open verdicts could not be returned prior to the Suicide Act 1961.