Suicidal thoughts and suicide mortality among immigrants in Canada

Release date: December 1, 2022
Infographic: Suicidal thoughts and suicide mortality among immigrants in Canada
Description: Suicidal thoughts and suicide mortality among immigrants in Canada

Suicidal thoughts in the previous year were less common among immigrants aged 15 years and older than among their Canadian-born counterparts (1.5% versus 3.1%).

Youth aged 15 to 24 had the highest rate of suicidal thoughts

  • Immigrants: 4%
  • Canadian-born population: 6%

Suicidal thoughts were more prevalent among persons with a diagnosed mood or anxiety disorder

Table 1
Table summary
This table displays the results of Table 1 Mood disorder and Anxiety disorder, calculated using Yes and No units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Mood disorder Anxiety disorder
Yes No Yes No
Immigrants 14% 1% 11% 1%
Canadian-born population 18% 1% 14% 2%

Between 2000 and 2020, deaths by suicide accounted for approximately 1%-2% of total deaths in Canada.Note 1 The suicide mortality rate among immigrants was half the rate of the Canadian-born population.

Among immigrants aged 15 and over, death by suicide was

  • 2.1 times higher among those born in Western Europe than the whole immigrant population
  • 2.7 times higher among men than women
  • 1.3 times higher among those in the bottom income quintile than among those with a higher income.

Help is available

  • Emergency: 911 or local emergency department
  • Nearest crisis centre:
  • Suicide prevention resources:
  • Mental disorders are treatable and suicide is preventable.

Source: Yang, F., L. Zhao and N. Aitken. 2022. “Examining variations in immigrants’ lower risk of suicide-related behaviours.” Insights on Canadian Society. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 75-006-X;
Statistics Canada, Canadian Community Health Survey, 2015, 2016 and 2019 (suicidal thoughts), 2006 Canadian Census Health and Environment Cohort with 10-year follow-up (suicide mortality). 

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