Today is International Men’s Day and will be marked for the first time by a debate in Parliament. I intend to use the debate to highlight the growing differential between the number of males committing suicide and the number of females. Across the UK as a whole the Office for National Statistics figures show that in 2013 the suicide rate was 11.9 deaths per 100,000 but this figure masks the difference between the rate among males which was 19.0 and the rate among females was 5.1.
Some claim that the number of suicides is affected by changes to benefit rates and undoubtedly, financial problems will be a factor in why some people commit suicide but this does not explain the disparity between men and women. This gap is longstanding and growing. In every year since 1981 the rate has been higher among men than women. In the 5 years between 1981 and 1985 the average ratio was 1.78. In the 5 years to 2013 the average ratio was 3.21
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