Year: 2022 Source: International Journal of Social Psychiatry, (2022), 68(8), 1636–1643. DOI: 10.1177/00207640211047617 SIEC No: 20221033

Background: Suicide rate in Hungary was nearly the highest in the world in the decades preceding the transition of the social system. Shortly after the transition in 1989, a radical decrease in fatal suicides occurred, parallel with a marked increase in emigration.

Methods: We analyzed the data published by the Hungarian Central Statistical Office to detect if there was an association between the remarkable drop in suicide rates and the changes in emigration rates from 1995 to 2019.

Results: The results of a brief statistical analysis on the correlation between suicide rate and emigration confirmed a strong negative relationship (r = -.855, p = .00). For more precise results, we applied linear regression analysis, which showed that the emigration rate predicted 73.2% of suicide rate variances with a high predictive value (β = -.983).

Conclusion: The study provides a possible explanation through a phenomenological analysis on major life transformations. Relating the arrested flight/cry of pain theory, the theory of rites of passage and double-bind communication resulted a comprehensive and coherent, but not exhaustive explanation on the relationship between suicide and emigration.