Suicide rates are not constant but vary considerably over time, both at the scale of a few years and over the range of many decades. Suicide rates in Finland, for example, rose slowly but steadily throughout the nineteenth century, rising from around 2 per 100,000 to around 5. In the next thirty years they shot up suddenly to nearly 23. They fell slightly during the Great Depression and the Second World War and resumed their upward tendency, reaching 25 per 100,000 by 1975 (Stack 1993: 142). Stack concluded from his analysis that Finland’s experience of urbanisation over a century and three-quarters explained much of the change in suicide rates. A 1 per cent increase in urbanisation was associated with just under a 0.2 per cent rise in the suicide rate. (Stack 1993: 145). By contrast, Hassan reports that male suicide rates in Australia declined from a high of around 20 at the beginning of the twentieth century to a low of 10 at the end of World War II. In between they reached a momentary peak of 24 in 1930 at the height of the Depression. Male suicide rates increased rapidly after 1945 reaching 20 again in 1963 (Hassan and Tan 1989: 377-379). They dipped down to 15 in 1975, then rose again above 20 in the late 1980s (Hassan 1995: 35). Female rates in Australia, by contrast, were virtually constant at about 4 between 1901 and 1952 (Hassan and Tan 1989: 377-379). They peaked suddenly to 11 in 1967 and declined back to their historical level after the mid-1980s (Hassan 1995: 35). Hassan and Tan concluded that modernisation variables including urbanisation, industrialisation, education and female workforce employment, explained 84 per cent of the variance in the male-female suicide rates (Hassan and Tan 1989: 369).