Suicide in Russia

Suicide in Russia is a significant national social issue.[1] In 2018, suicide rate in Russia 12.4 per 100 000 population (18206 suicides), according to national sources, down from 39.1 in 2000 and 41.4 in 1995.[2][3] The number of suicides has fallen consecutive after 2002 and has dropped to its lowest level in more than 50 years (in 1965, the number of suicides was 27158).[4]


In the Russian Empire and for a long time in the USSR, a complete record of suicides was not kept. The studies covered individual cities or regions, later the urban population. And only since 1956 - under Nikita Khrushchev - the USSR began to collect data on suicides for the entire population of the country. In May of 1985 Mikhail Gorbachev came to power and the anti-alcohol campaign with partial prohibition began almost simultaneously.[5] For a couple of years the number of suicides fell, but the deterioration of the socio-economic situation of the country by the end of the 1980s reversed the trend of suicides to the downside.[6]

The dissolution of the Soviet Union, market reforms, the First Chechen War and falling incomes among the population resulted in an increase in suicide mortality, reaching peak levels in 1994 and 1995.

During the last years, as a consequence of the change in the culture of alcohol consumption in the country - Russians began to consume more beer, wine and other drinks with less alcohol, the decline of strong and popular vodka sales is similar to the decrease in the number of suicides in the country.[7]

At the end of 2015, suicide rates rated as high were recorded in 37 of the 85 regions. These are, above all, the regions in the north, the Urals, Siberia and Russian Far East. The worst places were the Altai Republic, the Transbaikal, the Jewish Autonomous Oblast, Buryatia and the Nenets Autonomous Okrug, with important indigenous populations.[8] Eighteen regions have a suicide rate classified as low, includes the two main cities from Russia: Moscow and Saint Petersburg.

Suicides in Russia[2][3]
1995 2000 2010 2015 2016 2017 2018
Number of suicides 61000 56934 33480 25476 23119 20278 18206
Per 100 000 population 41.4 39.1 23.4 17.4 15.8 13.8 12.4

Suicide rate per 100 000 population[2][3]

Alcohol and suicide

Heavy alcohol use is a significant factor in the suicide rate, with an estimated half of all suicides correlated with alcohol abuse.[9][10] Russia's suicide rate has declined since the 1990s, alongside per capita alcohol consumption, despite the economic crisis since then; therefore it is believed that alcohol consumption is more of a factor than economic conditions.[10]

Teenage suicides

In 1994, the rate of teenage suicides in Omsk alone was 10x the world average. 95% were claimed to be because of Boris Yeltsin's city conditions. [11]

See also


  1. ^ "Russian mental health rallies after 1990s turmoil". Washington Post. Reuters. Retrieved 2 June 2017.
  2. ^ a b c "Russian statistical yearbook. 2018 (in Russian and English)". Rosstat.
  3. ^ a b c "Russian statistical yearbook 2019". Rosstat. 2020. Retrieved 2021-01-22.
  4. ^ "Россия передумала умирать". Газета РБК (in Russian). Retrieved 2021-01-21.
  5. ^ "Об усилении борьбы с пьянством (в редакции Указа Президиума Верховного Совета СССР от 29 мая 1987 года N 7104-XI) (не применяется на территории РФ с 01.07.2002), Указ Президиума Верховного Совета СССР от 16 мая 1985 года №2458-XI" [On the Increased Struggle against Hard Drinking and Alcoholism]. docs.cntd.ru (in Russian). 1985. Retrieved 2021-01-21.
  6. ^ Brainerd, Elizabeth (2001-05-01). "Economic reform and mortality in the former Soviet Union: A study of the suicide epidemic in the 1990s". European Economic Review. 15th Annual Congress of the European Economic Association. 45 (4): 1007–1019. doi:10.1016/S0014-2921(01)00108-8. hdl:10419/21091. ISSN 0014-2921. S2CID 154383668.
  7. ^ Иванович, Ворошилин Сергей (2012). "Алкогольный фактор среди причин роста самоубийств в СССР и в постсоветстких государствах" [The alcohol factor among the reasons for the increase in suicides in the USSR and in the post-Soviet states]. Суицидология (in Russian). Ural University. 3 (2 (7)). ISSN 2224-1264.
  8. ^ Sumarokov, Yury A.; Brenn, Tormod; Kudryavtsev, Alexander V.; Sidorenkov, Oleg; Nilssen, Odd (2016-07-22). "Alcohol and suicide in the Nenets Autonomous Okrug and Arkhangelsk Oblast, Russia". International Journal of Circumpolar Health. 75: 30965. doi:10.3402/ijch.v75.30965. ISSN 1239-9736. PMC 4958908. PMID 27452190.
  9. ^ Pridemore, W. A. (2006). "Heavy Drinking and Suicide in Russia". Social Forces. National Institutes of Health. 85 (1): 413–430. doi:10.1353/sof.2006.0138. PMC 1642767. PMID 17160138.
  10. ^ a b Demoscope - Demographic, social and economic consequences of alcohol abuse in Russia Demoscope Retrieved on July 6, 2010
  11. ^ Kates, Glenn (19 April 2012). "A Spate of Teenage Suicides Alarms Russians". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 January 2013.

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