300 Swiss died by assisted suicide in 2009

Three hundred Swiss residents died in 2009 by assisted suicide, according to the first such official data published by the Swiss Federal Statistics Office on Tuesday.

Nine in ten of them were aged 55 or older, with just one percent younger than 35 years, according to the data, which does not take into account foreigners who come to Switzerland for assisted suicide.

From 1998 to 2011, Swiss association Dignitas helped 1,169 foreigners die, including 664 from Germany, followed by 182 from Britain and 117 from France.

Belgium and the Netherlands are the only other two countries issuing data on assisted suicide.

In Belgium, the number of cases was at 7.9 per 1,000 deaths in 2009, while in the Netherlands, it stood at 2.3 per 1,000 deaths.

In Switzerland, the data corresponded to 4.8 deaths per 1,000.