Suicide in America

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February 21, 2018

February 21, 2018 — Suicide is a preventable public health problem and a leading cause of death in the United States. More investment in suicide prevention, education and research will prevent the untimely deaths of thousands of Americans each year.

All suicides

  • Number of deaths: 42,826
  • Deaths per 100,000 population: 13.4
  • Cause of death rank: 10

Firearm suicides

  • Number of deaths: 21,386
  • Deaths per 100,000 population: 6.7

Suffocation suicides

  • Number of deaths: 11,407
  • Deaths per 100,000 population: 3.6

Poisoning suicides

  • Number of deaths: 6,808
  • Deaths per 100,000 population: 2.1

(NOTE) – Veterans comprise 22.2% of suicides

Data from the National Vital Statistics System, Mortality

  • From 1999 through 2014, the age-adjusted suicide rate in the United States increased 24%, from 10.5 to 13.0 per 100,000 population, with the pace of increase greater after 2006.
  • Suicide rates increased from 1999 through 2014 for both males and females and for all ages 10–74.
  • The percent increase in suicide rates for females was greatest for those aged 10–14, and for males, those aged 45–64.
  • The most frequent suicide method in 2014 for males involved the use of firearms (55.4%), while poisoning was the most frequent method for females (34.1%).
  • Percentages of suicides attributable to suffocation increased for both sexes between 1999 and 2014.

Suicide is an important public health issue involving psychological, biological, and societal factors. After a period of nearly consistent decline in suicide rates in the United States from 1986 through 1999, suicide rates have increased almost steadily from 1999 through 2014. While suicide among adolescents and young adults is increasing and among the leading causes of death for those demographic groups, suicide among middle-aged adults is also rising . This report presents an overview of suicide mortality in the United States from 1999 through 2014. Suicide rates in 1999 are compared with 2014 for both females and males across age groups, and percentages are compared by method (firearms, poisoning, suffocation, and other means).

source: cdc, ny times

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