Suicides in UK armed forces veterans, England and Wales: 2021

Information from the ONS: Suicide rates among UK armed forces veterans, based on death registration records linked to Census 2021 and the Ministry of Defence (MOD) Service Leavers Database (SLD). These are official statistics in development.

Main findings
  • In 2021 in England and Wales, out of 5,175 suicides in those aged 16 years and over, 253 suicides occurred in UK armed forces veterans.
  • Of the 253 UK armed forces veteran suicides occurring in 2021, 93.7% (237) were male and 6.3% (16) were female.
  • Overall, after accounting for age, there was no evidence of a difference in the rate of suicide between male UK armed forces veterans and the male general population.
  • However, male UK armed forces veterans aged 25 to 44 years had a higher rate of suicide compared with males aged 25 to 44 years in the general population.
  • In the male UK armed forces veteran population, deaths from firearm discharge accounted for 5.9% of suicides in 2021, compared with the male general population where this method accounted for 1.6% of suicides in the same year.

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