(photo credit: )
The suicide rates of Israeli men are the third-lowest in a comparison of 23 European countries, and Israeli women the fifth-lowest, according to a Health Ministry report released for publication on Tuesday.
The report is significant for decision-makers, therapists, researchers and the general public, and for the preparation of interventional programs.
While the suicide rate of both sexes has declined somewhat in the past decade, the report revealed the worrisome news that nearly a third of those who killed themselves between 2004 and 2006 were immigrants - from the former Soviet Union since 1990 and from Ethiopia since 1980 - compared to 25 percent between 1996 and 2003.
Although the suicide rate among FSU immigrant males has dropped since 2004, they are still 1.9 times more likely to kill themselves than non-immigrants. Women from the FSU are 1.3 times more likely to commit suicide than other Israeli women, and this rate has risen in recent years.
Ethiopian men are 2.4 times more likely to kill themselves compared to their Israeli-born counterparts, and Ethiopian women 2.2 times more likely.
Women are more likely than men to attempt suicide unsuccessfully.
Three-quarters of all suicides during the past decade have been male. In 2006 - the last year figures were reported - there were 365 such tragedies, compared to 411 to 417 in 2003 to 2005, bringing the number of suicides down to the 1998 figure despite population growth.
Between 2000 and 2006, the average number of suicides among youths aged 15 to 24 has been 66 males and 11 females.
The report said that among Israeli males aged 15 to 29, the suicide rate was similar to the average European rate. The suicide rate among people 75 and over has dropped by 32% since 2000.
Besides being more common among Israelis aged 15 to 29, there is a greater tendency toward suicide between the ages of 45 and 59 and over 65.