The Scottish Public Health Observatory - Suicide Overview

These files present information on probable suicides registered in Scotland including breakdowns by health board, local authority and Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) decile. For the health board and local authority data the period covered is calendar years 2011-2020. For the SIMD data the periods covered are 2006-2010 and 2016-2020. All publications related to this topic area can be found on the PHS Mortality webpage. The next release of the ScotPHO suicide overview publication will be summer 2022.

Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
Source NRS death registration records and mid-year population estimates
Author PHS Mental Health Team
Version 1.0
Last Updated September 2, 2022, 08:50 (BST)
Created April 2, 2020, 17:14 (BST)
Contact Address PHS Mental Health Team, Public Health Scotland, Gyle Square, 1 South Gyle Crescent, Edinburgh, EH12 9EB
Subject Public Health
Frequency Annual
Time frame of data and timeliness The health board and local authority files are based on 2011-2020 finalised death registrations. The SIMD file is based on 2006-2010 and 2016-2020 finalised death registrations. The most recent (2020 calendar year) finalised registrations were released by National Records of Scotland (NRS) in August 2021.
Coverage Finalised NRS death records of all probable suicides registered in Scotland in the periods mentioned above. The figures shown are for deaths occurring in, and registered in, Scotland. They will include a small proportion of deaths for persons who were not resident in Scotland, and exclude deaths of residents of Scotland occurring outwith Scotland. The data are analysed by year of registration rather than year of death.
Completeness The quality and completeness of the deaths data are discussed in
Accuracy Quality checks are conducted by PHS. Figures are compared to previously published data and expected trends.
Continuity of data In 2011, NRS made a change to the way deaths are classified, to match changes in World Health Organization coding rules. The new coding rules resulted in some drug misuse deaths previously coded under 'mental and behavioural disorders' being classified as 'self-poisoning of undetermined intent' and therefore included as ‘probable suicides’. The health board and local authority data included in this release are based on the new coding rules. The SIMD data are based on the old coding rules to allow for meaningful comparisons to be made between the periods 2006-2010 and 2016-2020. Full details on changes to the coding of causes of death between 2010 and 2011 can be found on the NRS website -
Concepts and definitions The definition of a probable suicide for ScotPHO is based on the NRS classification of deaths due to intentional self-harm or undetermined intent (further details under Continuity of Data above).
Disclosure The PHS protocol on Statistical Disclosure Protocol is followed -
Revision statement No changes or revisions compared to previous publications.
Official statistics designation National Statistics
Relevance and key uses of the statistics ScotPHO aims to provide the public health community with easy access to clear and relevant information and statistics on suicide, to support decision-making and measure progress towards the suicide reduction target.
Format csv
Language English


Mental Health

NRS Probable Suicides

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