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Tuesday, September 8, 1998 Published at 18:38 GMT 19:38 UK


It's grim up north

Manchester: Famous for rain and now suicides

People in Scotland are more likely to kill themselves than those in other parts of Britain, according to a new report.

The study also says that Manchester is the suicide capital of England and that the north-west as a whole also suffers from a higher suicide rate than other English regions.

The figures published by the Office for National Statistics also suggest suicides tend to be most prevalent in the poorer parts of Britain.

They show that for men in Scotland the suicide rate between 1994 and 1996 was 60% higher than for the UK as a whole.

For Scottish women the rate was even higher, 70% above the average.

Wales also showed a significant variation from the UK norm, with the suicide rate for men aged 15 to 44 a quarter higher than in Britain as a whole, but the rate for women was 21% lower.

Depressed north-west

In the north-west the suicide rate was 20% higher for men and 28% higher for women than for England and Wales as a whole.

When suicides were broken down by local authority area there was no clear geographical pattern among women or among men aged more than 45.

But for men in the 15 to 44 age group areas in the North West and Wales - including Manchester, Preston, Lancaster, Carmarthenshire and Neath/Port Talbot - displayed a significantly higher suicide rate.

The only local authority with a significantly higher suicide rate among men and women of all ages was Greater Manchester.

Women in the area aged 15 to 44 were more than twice as likely to kill themselves than in Britain generally. Men in the same age group were more than one-and-a-half times more likely to commit suicide.

Suicides were defined as deaths on which an inquest had given a suicide or open verdict.

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