The number of suicides last year was 209, the lowest since Statistics Estonia began collecting data in 1989, but still higher than the combined fatalities from traffic accidents, fire deaths and drownings
In 2012, 235 people in Estonia took their own lives, a low figure compared to the 401 in 2001 and 615 in 1994. Last year 90 people died in traffic accidents, 42 in fires, and 38 people drowned.
Airi Värnik, of the Estonian-Swedish Mental Health and Suicidology Institute, said suicide numbers reflect the social-political situation of the study area, and those figures in Estonia have been improving since 1995.
She said her institute conducted a large-scale study on suicides in Estonia in 1999, examining every case that year, but a new study is needed today.
Suicides among males are usually 2-3 times more common than among women, but the difference is almost fivefold in Estonia.
Lithuania (31 suicides per 100,000 population each year) has the highest figures in the region, followed by Latvia (21), Russia (20) and Finland (16). The corresponding figure for Estonia is 15 suicides per year per 100,000 people.