Suicide Facts and Statistics

 

 

Suicide Deaths, U.S., 2001*

·                                 Suicide was the 11th leading cause of death in the United States.

·                                 It was the eighth leading cause of death for males, and 19th leading cause of death for females.

·                                 The total number of suicide deaths was 30,622.

·                                 The 2001 age-adjusted rate** was 10.7/100,000 or 0.01 percent.

o                                                        1.3 percent of total deaths were from suicide. By contrast, 29 percent were from diseases of the heart, 23 percent were from malignant neoplasms (cancer), and 6.8 percent were from cerebrovascular disease (stroke)—the three leading causes.

o                                                        Suicides outnumbered homicides (20,308) by three to two.

o                                                        There were twice as many deaths due to suicide than deaths due to HIV/AIDS (14,175).

·                                 Suicide by firearms was the most common method for both men and women, accounting for 55 percent of all suicides.

·                                 More men than women die by suicide.

o                                                        The gender ratio is 4:1.

o                                                        73 percent of all suicide deaths are white males.

o                                                        80 percent of all firearm suicide deaths are white males.

·                                 Among the highest rates (when categorized by gender and race) are suicide deaths for white men over 85, who had a rate of 54/100,000.

·                                 Suicide was the third leading cause of death among young people 15 to 24 years of age, following unintentional injuries and homicide. The rate was 9.9/100,000 or .01 percent.

o                                                        The suicide rate among children ages 10-14 was 1.3/100,000 or 272 deaths among 20,910,440 children in this age group. The gender ratio for this age group was 3:1 (males: females).

o                                                        The suicide rate among adolescents aged 15-19 was 7.9/100,000 or 1,611 deaths among 20,271,312 adolescents in this age group. The gender ratio for this age group was 5:1 (males: females).

o                                                        Among young people 20 to 24 years of age, the suicide rate was 12/100,000 or 2,360 deaths among 19,711,423 people in this age group. The gender ratio for this age group was 7:1 (males: females).

Attempted Suicides

·                                 No annual national data on all attempted suicides are available.

·                                 Other research indicates that:

o                                                        there are an estimated 8-25 attempted suicides for each suicide death; the ratio is higher in women and youth and lower in men and the elderly.

o                                                        more women than men report a history of attempted suicide, with a gender ratio of 3:1.

* 2001 U.S. mortality data are based on the International Classification of Disease, 10th revision (ICD-10), whereas ICD-9 has been used from 1979-1998. For this reason, comparisons between data from years 1999-2001 and earlier mortality data should be made carefully. For a full explanation of the implications of this change, see http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/wisqars/fatal/help/datasources.htm#6.3.

** Age-adjusted rates refer to weighting rates by a population standard to allow for comparisons across time and among risk groups. The 2001 mortality data are calculated using figures from the 2000 census, whereas previous years have been calculated using 1940 census data. For this reason, comparisons between data from years 2000 to 2001 and earlier mortality data should be made carefully. For a full explanation of the implications of this change, see http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/wisqars/fatal/help/datasources.htm#6.2.

 

 

 

Posted: 04/09/2004

 

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The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

 

 

 

 

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