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 affects young people at higher rates than other age groups. According to a National Vital Statistics System report, suicides went up by 57% for 10 to 24-year-olds between 2007 to 2018. It was the 10th leading cause of death in 2019, the latest year available. Between 1999 and 2019, the national suicide rate increased by 33%.
Suicide was the second-leading cause of death in 2019 for people ages 10-34 and the fourth- leading cause of death for people ages 35-44.
The National Institute of Mental Health defines suicidal ideation as thinking, considering or planning suicide. In 2019, 12 million American adults seriously thought about suicide, 3.5 million planned a suicide attempt, and 1.4 million attempted suicide, according to the CDC.
Suicide historically affects men at a higher rate. In 2019, the rate was 3.8 times higher for men than women, according to the CDC. The suicide rate for men increased by 28% over the last two decades.
Of the 47,511 people who died by suicide in 2019, about 50% of deaths involved a firearm.
Suicide rates are higher among American Indian/Alaska Native and non-Hispanic White populations. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), suicide was the second leading cause of death among American Indian and Alaska Native youth aged 8-24 in 2019.
LGBTQ youth have a higher rate of suicidal ideation in comparison to their straight peers, according to SAMHSA. Veterans and individuals living in rural communities also experience higher than average suicide rates.
Forty-two states had significant suicide rate increases between 2016–2018.
The CDC tracks suicide data to better understand, monitor, and prevent suicide and suicidal behavior. It supports several national, state, local, and tribal organizations that provide suicide prevention resources and tools.
Age-adjusted rate allows communities with different age structures to be compared. It is used when comparing rates of disease, death, injuries or other health outcomes.
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