Which Countries have Highest Suicide Rates?

Most Suicidal Countries

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a person commits suicide somewhere in the world every 40 seconds. Even though most of these countries that have high suicidal rates are poor, it is also surprising to see that there are some highly developed countries that are also a part of such list. Over the last 45 years, there is an increasing trend in the suicidal rates in different parts of the world. Let’s find out about the countries that have the highest suicidal rates and hoping this would end soon.

Most Suicidal Countries

1. Sri Lanka

As mentioned earlier that unlike poor countries, there are some highly developed countries that are also involved in high suicidal rates, Sri Lanka is one of them. Being a country that ranks amongst the most developed countries in the world still is a part of highest suicide rate (therichest). It has been concluded that like other countries, the ratio of males is more than females in committing suicide. Also, the most common group of males that are involved in this act belongs to the ages 15 to 44.

2. Guyana

Guyana is a rural country with a population of about 740,000 people that almost has the highest suicidal rates. The suicidal rates of Guyana are almost 4 times more than the average of any other country. Alcohol abuse, easy access to deadly pesticides and high rural poverty are some of the reasons why most people are involved in self-inflicted deaths. According to researchers, it is also said that men commit suicide more than women in Guyana as one of the leading factor is the economic issues of this poor country.

3. Kazakhstan

This large Central Asian country, Kazakhstan, is a place where suicide is a common cause of unnatural death. The demographics state that the large number of suicidal rate can be seen among students and young people. Unlike other countries, Kazakhstan is that country where the highest number of suicide among girls is from age 15 to 19. The reasons for such young deaths have increased due to bullying and tormenting at school.


Suriname is one of the South American countries that is included in this list. Although it is one of the smallest countries in the continent, the people are still involved in such suicidal acts mainly due to social and economic problems.  To be exact, domestic violence, poverty, high rate of unemployment, alcohol misuse are some of the major factors which causes such a high rate of suicide in the country.

5. Lithuania

Lithuania is the top most suicidal country in the entire Europe whereas; it is among the top ten most suicidal country in the world. The major causes for such act in Lithuania are financial and social problems. The highest rates of suicide are amongst family rearing and prime working men that belong to the age group of 35 – 54. It is due to poverty and unemployment that has given such people plenty of time to be involved in crime and alcoholism and later turning for their last resort, suicide, according to them.

6. Angola

Angola is not the only country in the list of most suicidal countries that was ruined by the civil war. After an end to the Civil War after 27 years i.e in 2002, almost the entire nation lives in poverty, hence, making it the number one reasons of suicide in the country. The suicide rate for men in Angola is 38.1 whereas for women is 14.3.

7. South Korea

Suicide in South Korea is generally common among the elderly people as majority of them live under the poverty line and as a result they take this step to not be a burden for their families. Rural areas in South Korea have more suicidal rates than urban ones. The “attempt” to suicide rates is higher of women in suicide but actual suicide rates are higher of men. Various famous people of South Korea have committed suicide which includes the former president of the country, Roh Moo – hyun and a famous actress called Lee Eun Ju.

8. Belarus

The extremely fast economic growth and the fact that the pension system for the employees didn’t exist in the country till 1988, resulted in a very large population of old age people living in poverty feeling like a burden. Besides this, another reason for an increase in suicide rates in South Korea is the very competitive and harsh schooling system and that most of them will not get a job until they graduate from the top colleges.

9. Russia

During the 90’s era, it could be seen that 40 out of 100,000 people were involved in suicide but during the 2000’s there has been a drop in the suicide rate which still makes Russia as one of the most suicidal countries in the world. One of the key factors for contributing to this sad statistic is due to heavy consumption of alcohol.

10. India

Not an exact figure but an approximate of 200,000 per year is what that has been estimated in India for the number of suicides annually. The most common source of suicide is poisoning, self-immolation and hanging. The major reasons why people in India are into this act is due to either health problems or family reasons. Until 2014, committing suicide was illegal in the country so if anyone survived, they would have to serve their time in jail for up to one year.

Source: World Atlas

Countries Ranking Suicides per 100,000
Sri Lanka 1 34.6
Guyana 2 30.6
Mongolia 3 28.1
Kazakhstan 4 27.5
Cote d’Ivoire 5 27.2
Suriname 6 26.9
Equatorial Guinea 7 26.6
Lithuania 8 26.1
Angola 9 25.9
South Korea 10 24.1
 Sierra Leone 11  22.1
 Bolivia 12  20.5
 Central African Republic 13  19.6
 Belarus 14  19.1
 Poland  15  18.5
 Zimbabwe  16 18.0
 Russia  17  17.9
 Swaziland  18  17.9
 Cameroon  19  17.5
 Latvia  20 17.4
 Ukraine  21  16.6
 Burkina Faso  22  16.5
 Belgium 23  16.1
 India 24  16.0
 Hungary 25  15.7

Some of the main reasons for this increase in suicidal acts are substance abuse, mental illness, economic hardship and poverty. While many people either cope with such situations or are able to deal with it somehow, there are others who cannot which results in taking up their own lives. Clearly, majority of the people in the underdeveloped countries are more prone to taking up their lives than those of highly developed ones. The above list caters most suicidal countries of both highly and underdeveloped countries of which the ratio is more of the former.

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