OBJECTIVES: To determine the regional patterns and the temporal trends of suicides in Finnish Lapland. STUDY DESIGN: Population-based ecological mortality study. METHODS: Data on suicides and population aged 15 years and over during the period 1961-2005 were tabulated by sex, age and commune (local government districts). Age-adjusted mortality was calculated by 5-year periods and smoothed by loess regression. RESULTS: Male suicide mortality in Lapland was 51 per 100,000 person-years, an excess of 17% (95% CI 12-23%) compared with the national mortality. The excess was highest in men aged 15-24 years (excess 54%; 95% CI 39-70%), and it increased over time. In females, suicide mortality was 13/100,000, a deficit of 10% (95% CI 1-19%) versus all Finland. Male suicides were most common in north-central Lapland and in the cities Kemi and Kemijärvi. In females, the pattern was similar in kind but the numbers were small. The epidemic wave of suicides which culminated in 1990 in all Finland showed differing trends by small areas in Lapland. CONCLUSIONS: Male suicides are excessively common in Lapland compared with the national level, and they concentrate on a geographically contiguous area in the central north and in 2 towns. The findings encourage local studies to investigate the underlying causal factors and interventions to reduce suicides.