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Relationship of suicide rates to economic variables in Europe: 2000–2011

  • Konstantinos N. Fountoulakis (a1), Wolfram Kawohl (a2), Pavlos N. Theodorakis (a3), Ad J. F. M. Kerkhof (a4), Alvydas Navickas (a5), Cyril Höschl (a6), Dusica Lecic-Tosevski (a7), Eliot Sorel (a8), Elmars Rancans (a9), Eva Palova (a10), Georg Juckel (a11), Goran Isacsson (a12), Helena Korosec Jagodic (a13), Ileana Botezat-Antonescu (a14), Ingeborg Warnke (a2), Janusz Rybakowski (a15), Jean Michel Azorin (a16), John Cookson (a17), John Waddington (a18), Peter Pregelj (a19), Koen Demyttenaere (a20), Luchezar G. Hranov (a21), Lidija Injac Stevovic (a22), Lucas Pezawas (a23), Marc Adida (a16), Maria Luisa Figuera (a24), Maurizio Pompili (a25), Miro Jakovljević (a26), Monica Vichi (a27), Giulio Perugi (a28), Ole Andreassen (a29), Olivera Vukovic (a30), Paraskevi Mavrogiorgou (a11), Peeter Varnik (a31), Per Bech (a32), Peter Dome (a33), Petr Winkler (a6), Raimo K. R. Salokangas (a34), Tiina From (a35), Vita Danileviciute (a36), Xenia Gonda (a37), Zoltan Rihmer (a33), Jonas Forsman Benhalima (a12), Anne Grady (a38), Anne Katrine Kloster Leadholm (a39), Susan Soendergaard (a32), Carlos Nordt (a2) and Juan Lopez-Ibor (a40)...

It is unclear whether there is a direct link between economic crises and changes in suicide rates.


The Lopez-Ibor Foundation launched an initiative to study the possible impact of the economic crisis on European suicide rates.


Data was gathered and analysed from 29 European countries and included the number of deaths by suicide in men and women, the unemployment rate, the gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, the annual economic growth rate and inflation.


There was a strong correlation between suicide rates and all economic indices except GPD per capita in men but only a correlation with unemployment in women. However, the increase in suicide rates occurred several months before the economic crisis emerged.


Overall, this study confirms a general relationship between the economic environment and suicide rates; however, it does not support there being a clear causal relationship between the current economic crisis and an increase in the suicide rate.

Corresponding author
Konstantinos N. Fountoulakis, 3rd Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 6 Odysseos Street (1st Parodos, Ampelonon Street), 55535 Pournari Pylaia, Thessaloniki, Greece. Email:
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P.D. and X.G. are recipients of the Janos Bolyai Fellowship of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

Declaration of interest


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Relationship of suicide rates to economic variables in Europe: 2000–2011

  • Konstantinos N. Fountoulakis (a1), Wolfram Kawohl (a2), Pavlos N. Theodorakis (a3), Ad J. F. M. Kerkhof (a4), Alvydas Navickas (a5), Cyril Höschl (a6), Dusica Lecic-Tosevski (a7), Eliot Sorel (a8), Elmars Rancans (a9), Eva Palova (a10), Georg Juckel (a11), Goran Isacsson (a12), Helena Korosec Jagodic (a13), Ileana Botezat-Antonescu (a14), Ingeborg Warnke (a2), Janusz Rybakowski (a15), Jean Michel Azorin (a16), John Cookson (a17), John Waddington (a18), Peter Pregelj (a19), Koen Demyttenaere (a20), Luchezar G. Hranov (a21), Lidija Injac Stevovic (a22), Lucas Pezawas (a23), Marc Adida (a16), Maria Luisa Figuera (a24), Maurizio Pompili (a25), Miro Jakovljević (a26), Monica Vichi (a27), Giulio Perugi (a28), Ole Andreassen (a29), Olivera Vukovic (a30), Paraskevi Mavrogiorgou (a11), Peeter Varnik (a31), Per Bech (a32), Peter Dome (a33), Petr Winkler (a6), Raimo K. R. Salokangas (a34), Tiina From (a35), Vita Danileviciute (a36), Xenia Gonda (a37), Zoltan Rihmer (a33), Jonas Forsman Benhalima (a12), Anne Grady (a38), Anne Katrine Kloster Leadholm (a39), Susan Soendergaard (a32), Carlos Nordt (a2) and Juan Lopez-Ibor (a40)...
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