In Scotland in 2016 there were 728 suicides. As annual numbers tend to fluctuate from year to year, as shown by 2016 data, five-year rolling average rates are used for monitoring purposes. Based on these five-year rolling averages the suicide rate decreased: between 2002-06 and 2012-16, there has been a downward trend in suicide rates, with an overall decrease of 17%. The number of deaths by suicide in 2015 was the lowest in a single year since 1974. Suicide rates were significantly higher in the most deprived areas of Scotland than the Scottish average, but the latest figures show that this inequality gap has narrowed over the past decade. The Scottish suicide rate has been lower than the EU average from the 1980s up to 1997, then around the EU average in recent years  . Data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development ( OECD) show that the suicide rate in the UK was well below the OECD average in 2013 (the most recent comparison time available, published November 2016  ).