British men in the 45 to 49 age group are more likely than others to commit suicide
Males in England and Wales are committing suicide at an alarming rate, thus raising fresh concerns about socio-economic stability in the UK.
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), male suicides in England and Wales are at their highest rate in two decades.
Males accounted for almost three-quarters of suicide deaths registered in 2019, amounting to 4,303 self-inflicted deaths, in comparison with 1,388 suicides for females.
The male suicide rate of 16.9 deaths per 100,000 is the highest since 2000, according to the ONS.
The picture is similarly bleak for females (albeit at a less intense level) with 5.3 self-inflicted deaths per 100,000, the highest rate since 2004.
In total, there were 5,691 suicides registered in England and Wales in 2019, yielding an age-standardized rate of 11 self-inflicted deaths per 100,000 people.
Across all demographics, males aged 45 to 49 are the most vulnerable to suicide, with 25.5 deaths per 100,000 people.
The corresponding rate for women is among the 50 to 54 year old age group, with 7.4 deaths per 100,000.
Hitherto, no explanations have been offered by experts as to the causes of the steady rise in the suicide rate in recent years.
The latest ONS figures will likely trigger concerns that suicide rates will rise still further because of the coronavirus pandemic and the associated lockdown and economic recession.