Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Seasonality in suicide rates has long been reported. Spring peaks in suicide deaths have been positively correlated with the proportion of the workforce engaged in agriculture. Some studies have indicated that suicides using violent methods are more likely to show seasonality. Recent research has suggested that seasonal patterns have diminished. This study examined deaths in male farmers, an occupational group which might be expected to be more vulnerable to seasonal influences because of the nature of their work and the relatively high proportion of farmers using violent methods for suicide. Data on suicides between 1982 and 1999 by males in England and Wales aged 15 years and over were provided by the Office for National Statistics. Seasonal patterns of suicide in farmers and nonfarmers were examined by nonparametric tests and harmonic analysis. No significant seasonal variation was found for farmers. For nonfarmers, although a chi-square test showed significant variation in monthly distribution, this was not found when a harmonic analysis was applied. There was no significant difference in the variation of violent suicides throughout the year. This study reinforces recent findings that seasonal variation in suicide appears to be diminishing, even in an occupational group where this might be expected.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





93 - 97


Adolescent, Adult, Agriculture, Data Collection, Depressive Disorder, England, Humans, Male, Rural Health, Seasons, Suicide, Wales