In 2021, 12.3 million American adults seriously thought about suicide, 3.5 million planned a suicide attempt, and 1.7 million attempted suicide. Suicide was the second leading cause of death for people ages 10–14 and 20–34 in 2021.
The suicide rate in the United States has steadily increased over the past 20 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Suicide was responsible for 48,183 deaths in 2021 — this represents a 36% increase in the national suicide rate since 2000. According to preliminary data, the national suicide rate increased an additional 2% between 2021 and 2022.
Suicide was the second-leading cause of death in 2021 for people ages 10–14 and 25–34 and the third- and fifth-leading cause of death for people ages 15–24 and 35–44, respectively. Between 2021 and 2020, suicide rates increased in every age cohort except for the 45–54 group.
The age-adjusted suicide death rate decreased from 13.9 to 13.5 deaths per 100,000 people between 2019 and 2020. The rate increased to 14.1 in 2021, resuming its long-standing upward trend. Preliminary estimates for 2022 place the suicide rate at 14.4 deaths per 100,000 people.
NIMH highlighted the pandemic’s toll on young people in particular. While the suicide rate fell during the first year of the pandemic, it increased among pre-teens and young adults. There were more suicides among 5 to 24-year-olds (5,568 total) during the first 10 months of the pandemic than the anticipated number had the pandemic not occurred. In particular, there were higher-than-expected rates among boys and young men, preteens between the ages of 5 and 12, young adults ages 18-24, non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaska Native youth, and non-Hispanic Black youth.
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Which demographics are at greater risk for suicide?
In 2021, nearly 47% of all suicides occurred in adults between the ages of 35 and 64. In this age group, suicides were highest for American Indian and Alaska Native men (41.3 suicides per 100,000) followed by white men (35.7 suicides per 100,000).
Wyoming had the highest state suicide rate in 2021, and New Jersey had the lowest
Wyoming, Montana, and Alaska had the highest suicide rates in 2021 at 32.3, 32.0, and 30.8 suicides per 100,000 people, respectively. New Jersey, New York, and Massachusetts had the lowest rates at 7.1, 7.9, and 8.0.
Non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaska Native people have disproportionately high suicide rates
In 2021, non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaska Native people had the highest rate of suicide, at 28.1 deaths per 100,000. This was followed by non-Hispanic white people with 17.4, and non-Hispanic Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders at 12.6. In comparison, non-Hispanic Asian people had the lowest suicide rate at 6.8.
Hispanic, non-Hispanic Black, and multiracial people had rates of 7.9, 8.7, and 9.7, respectively.