Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology

, Volume 40, Issue 8, pp 601–604

Changing patterns of suicide in a poor, rural county over the 20th century

A comparison with national trends
  • Simon A. Hill
  • Colin Pritchard
  • Richard Laugharne
  • David Gunnell
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s00127-005-0933-y

Cite this article as:
Hill, S.A., Pritchard, C., Laugharne, R. et al. Soc Psychiat Epidemiol (2005) 40: 601. doi:10.1007/s00127-005-0933-y


Rural suicide rates have been shown to be disproportionately high in several countries. This study compares suicide rates in Cornwall with the rest of England and Wales over a 90-year period (1911–2001). Age and sex standardised mortality ratios were calculated for suicide and undetermined death for Cornwall standardised to England and Wales. From 1911 until the start of the Second World War, suicide rates were lower in Cornwall than England and Wales. Since the 1960s suicide rates in Cornwall have risen significantly above England and Wales. We have shown that the suicide rate in a poor, rural area has increased disproportionately compared to England and Wales over the last 35 years. This change has occurred in both sexes. Prior to this period the suicide rate was lower or about the same as that in England and Wales.


suicide rate rural deprivation income inequality standardised mortality ratio 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Simon A. Hill
    • 1
  • Colin Pritchard
    • 2
  • Richard Laugharne
    • 3
  • David Gunnell
    • 4
  1. 1.Langdon HospitalDevonUK
  2. 2.Research and Development Support UnitRoyal Cornwall Hospital TrustTruroUK
  3. 3.Peninsular Medical School Mental Health Research GroupWonford House HospitalExeterUK
  4. 4.Dept. of Social MedicineUniversity of BristolBristolUK

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