According to the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1999, suicide is among the top ten causes of death for all age groups in North America and the majority of northern and western European countries; it represents 1 to 2 percent of total mortality.
It is also known that a major part of the increase in the suicide rate can be attributed to those people under forty years old.
Epidemiological knowledge about suicide in the world is limited to countries that report suicide statistics to WHO.
Certain harmful behaviors linked to suicide, such as alcoholism and drug addiction, are especially common among men.
According to David Lester, the suicide rate increases with age among men and varies with age among women.
The increase in suicide among youth dovetails with an overall rise in youthful depression.