Statistics

STATISTICS

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US

· In 2017, 47,173 Americans died by suicide
· In 2017, there were an estimated 1,400,000 suicide attempts
· The age-adjusted suicide rate in 2017 was 14.0 years of age per 100,000 individuals
· The rate of suicide is highest in middle-aged white men in particular
· In 2017, men died by suicide 3.54 times more often than women
· On average, there are 129 suicides per day
· White males accounted for 69.67% of suicide deaths in 2017
· In 2017, firearms accounted for 50.57% of all suicide deaths.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that in 2014, suicide was the second leading cause of death for young people ages 10–24. Although these numbers may make suicide seem common, it is still a rare event. Suicidal thoughts or behaviors are more common than suicide deaths and are signs of extreme distress. Suicidal thoughts and behaviors are not harmless bids for attention and should not be ignored.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) WISQARS Leading Causes of Death Reports, in 2017:

  • Suicide was the tenth leading cause of death overall in the United States, claiming the lives of over 47,000 people.
  • Suicide was the second leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 10 and 34, and the fourth leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 35 and 54.
  • There were more than twice as many suicides (47,173) in the United States as there were homicides (19,510).

Trends over Time

Suicide rate is based on the number of people who have died by suicide per 100,000 population. Because changes in population size are taken into account, rates allow for comparisons from one year to the next.

  • From 2001 through 2017, the total suicide rate increased 31% from 10.7 to 14.0 per 100,000.
  • The suicide rate among males remained nearly four times higher (22.4 per 100,000 in 2017) than among females (6.1 per 100,000 in 2017).

Demographics

• Because suicide rates take population size into account, they can be a useful tool for understanding the relative proportion of people affected within different demographic groups.
• Among females, the suicide rate was highest for those aged 45-54 (10.0 per 100,000).
• Among males, the suicide rate was highest for those aged 65 and older (31.0 per 100,000).

Number of Suicide Deaths by Method

• In 2017, firearms were the most common method used in suicide deaths in the United States, accounting for almost half of all suicide deaths (23,854).
Percent of Suicide Deaths by Method
• Among males, the most common method of suicide was firearm (56.0%). Among females, the most common methods of suicide were poisoning (31.4%) and firearm (31.2%).

Cost of Suicide Deaths

• In addition to the emotional loss associated with suicide, there is also an economic loss as the burden of suicide falls most heavily on adults of working age.
• Suicide accounted for $50.8 billion (24%) of the fatal injury cost.

Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors Among U.S. Adults

• Among adults across all age groups, the prevalence of serious suicidal thoughts was highest among adults aged 18-25 (10.5%).
• Among adults reporting race/ethnicity, the prevalence of serious suicidal thoughts was highest among adults reporting two or more races (8.9%).

• Among adults across all age groups, the prevalence of suicide attempts in the past year was highest among adults aged 18-25 (1.9%).

• Among adults reporting race/ethnicity, the prevalence of suicide attempts in the past year was highest among adults reporting two or more races (1.3%).

Suicide Attempts

• When it comes to suicide and suicide attempts there are rate differences depending on demographic characteristics such as age, gender, ethnicity and race. Nonetheless, suicide occurs in all demographic groups.

• In the U.S., no complete count of suicide attempt data is available. The CDC gathers data from hospitals on non-fatal injuries from self-harm as well as survey data.

• In 2015, (the most recent year for which data are available), approximately 575,000 people visited a hospital for injuries due to self-harm.

• Based on the 2017 National Survey of Drug Use and Mental Health it is estimated that 0.6 percent of the adults aged 18 or older made at least one suicide attempt. This translates to approximately 1.4 million adults. Adult females reported a suicide attempt 1.4 times as often as males. Further breakdown by gender and race are not available.

• Based on the 2017 Youth Risk Behaviors Survey, 7.4 percent of youth in grades 9-12 reported that they had made at least one suicide attempt in the past 12 months. Female students attempted almost twice as often as male students (9.3% vs. 5.1%). Black students reported the highest rate of attempt (9.8%) with white students at 6.1 percent. Approximately 2.4 percent of all students reported making a suicide attempt that required treatment by a doctor or nurse. For those requiring treatment, rates were highest for Black students (3.4%).