LONDON, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) -- The rate of male suicides in Britain has fallen to its lowest level since records started in 1981, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in a new report Tuesday.
The figures show the rate of females killing themselves continues to be consistent with a level spanning the last 10 years, added ONS.
Records show there were 5,821 suicides registered in Britain in 2017, with Scotland having the highest level of any area of the country. London, meanwhile, had the lowest suicide rate in England, added ONS.
The overall figure shows there were 10.1 deaths per 100,000 population, the statistics show.
ONS said the male suicide rate of 15.5 deaths per 100,000 was the lowest since the time-series began in 1981, but even so men accounted for three quarters of all suicides in 2017. Men aged 45-49 continue to be the age group with the highest suicide rate, with 24.8 deaths per 100,000 in that age group.
The rate for female suicides continues to be consistent with the rate over the past ten years, at 4.9 deaths per 100,000. Among women, the age group with the highest suicide rate was 50 to 54 year olds, with at 6.8 deaths per 100,000.
ONS said Scotland had the highest suicide rate in Britain, with a slight decrease to 13.9 deaths per 100,000 persons. Despite the overall increase in Scotland, the number of females ending their lives in 2017 was the lowest since 1981, with the figure half of what it was 36 years ago.
Rates for England fell slightly to 9.2 deaths per 100,000, the lowest in Britain, while the rate in Wales increased to 13.2 deaths per 100,000, compared with 11.8 for 2016.
The ONS report said higher rates of suicide among middle-aged men in recent years might be due to them being more likely to be affected by economic adversity, alcoholism and isolation. It could also be that males in that age group are less inclined to seek help.
The expression used in Britain that people have "committed suicide" dates back to a time when it was illegal for people to end their lives. It was the one crime in British law in which only survivors faced prosecution, with a charge of attempting to commit suicide. Suicide in Britain was de-criminalised in 1961.