Suicide rate Norway remains stable during pandemic


Northern Europe


Suicide rates have remained stable during the corona pandemic. Photo RD, Henk Visscher

The corona pandemic did not lead to more suicides in Norway in 2020. Studies in other countries point in the same direction.

Popular expectations might have been different, but those numbers are exactly as expected. That says chief physician Marianne Sørlie Strøm at the Cause of Death Register at the Norwegian research website Forskning.no. The Christian daily Dagen reports about this.

Last year, the number of suicides in Norway was 639. That was 13 fewer than the year before, according to figures from the Cause of Death Register, published in early July.

Many people would expect that isolation and restriction would lead to a higher number of suicides. But in practice, the reality is different.

Prof. Lars Mehlum (leader of the National Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention at the University of Oslo) says the picture of 2020 fits in the pattern. “When there is a crisis, people tend to concentrate on the most important things, such as getting through the crisis. Often the unity between people increases.”

As long as Norway avoids economic problems and mass unemployment, Mehlum thinks that the suicide rates will be stable in the long run.

Norwegian number was higher

A study published in 2019 showed that suicide numbers in Norway remained the same from 2010 onwards. The number is about 12 cases of 100,000 deaths per year. Around 1990 the number was somewhat higher, around 16 per 100,000 deaths per year.

According to Norwegian scientists, suicide numbers didn’t rise in other countries during the Covid-19 pandemic either.



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