Worldwide, more men killed themselves than women, WHO said, with 7.5 suicide deaths per 100,000 women and 13.7 suicides per 100,000 men. The only countries where the suicide rate was estimated to be higher in women than men were Bangladesh, China, Lesotho, Morocco, and Myanmar.
"While 79% of the world's suicides occurred in low- and middle-income countries, high-income countries had the highest rate, at 11.5 per 100,000" people, WHO said.
"Nearly three times as many men as women die by suicide in high-income countries, in contrast to low- and middle-income countries, where the rate is more equal," the WHO statement said.
"Suicide was the second-leading cause of death among young people aged 15-29 years, after road injury. Among teens aged 15-19 years, suicide was the second-leading cause of death among girls (after maternal conditions) and the third-leading cause of death in boys, after road injury and interpersonal violence."
WHO said one way to bring down the global suicide rate would be to limit access to pesticides, which -- along with hanging and firearms -- are the most common method of suicide. For example, in Sri Lanka, a series of bans on highly hazardous pesticides led to a 70% decrease in suicides, saving an estimated 93,000 lives from 1995 and 2015. Similarly, in South Korea, a ban on the herbicide paraquat was followed by a 50% decrease in suicide deaths from pesticide poisoning from 2011-2013.
Other steps the WHO said have helped reduce suicides include educating the media on how to report responsibly on suicide, identifying people at risk early and helping young people build skills that help them cope with life stresses.
World suicide prevention day is September 10.