FIGURES released on Tuesday by Spain’s National Institute of Statistics(INE) showed that 4,227 people took their own lives in 2022, compared to 4,003 in 2021.
Last year’s total went up by 5.6% but the worrying trend is that suicides rose by 19.4% in the five-year period between 2018 and 2022- working out last year at 11 lives per day.
The 2022 data, included in the study on Deaths by Cause of Death compiled by the INE, confirms a common trend in Western societies in Spain.
The number of men who died by suicide (3,121) is almost three times higher than the number of women (1,101).
“They have a more intense suicidal ideation and tend to try more often and use more lethal methods,” explained Alejandro de la Torre Luque, coordinator of the National Platform for the Study and Prevention of Suicide.
Suicide rates are below average in childhood, adolescence and youth, but from the age of 40 onwards they begin to rise.
The study brings some positive news as just 12 children aged under 15 years took their lives last year, compared to 22 the previous year.
Female deaths come the closest to those of males in the next age bracket upwards- that of adolescence, with 44 male deaths recorded and 31 women.
Based on the data and clinical experience of the groups in which he participates, Alejandro de la Torre Luque says the figure for girls reflects them reaching maturity earlier and the greater need for social relationships.
“From the pandemic to now, girls are feeling more unable to reinforce their social skills and they see themselves as less socially skilled and feel more alone.”