Exceptional Facts About Suicide
Suicide deaths have exceeded the number of homicides every year since 1981. Married persons have lower suicide rates than single, never married individuals. The highest rates occur among widowed and divorced persons. According to the National Association of Chiefs of Police, more than 300 officers die by suicide each year, twice the average number killed annually in the line of duty.
Special Facts About Suicide
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) collects data about mortality in the U.S., including deaths by suicide. In 2012 (the most recent year for which data are available), 40,600 suicides were reported, making suicide the 10th leading cause of death for Americans. In that year, someone in the U.S. died by suicide every 13.0 minutes.
Suicide Rates by Gender
For many years, the suicide rate has been about 4 times higher among men than among women. In 2012, men had a suicide rate of 20.6, and women had a rate of 5.5. Of those who died by suicide in 2012, 78.0% were male and 22.0% were female.
Suicide Rates per 100,000
In 2012, the highest suicide rate (20.0) was among people 45 to 54 years old. The second highest rate (17.8) occurred in those 85 years and older. Younger groups have had consistently lower suicide rates than middle-aged and older adults. In 2012, adolescents and young adults aged 15 to 24 had a suicide rate of 11.1.
Suicide Rates by Geographic Region/State
In 2012, suicide rates were highest in the West (14.2), followed by the South (13.5), the Midwest (12.9) and the Northeast (10.1). Nine U.S. states, all in the West, had age-adjusted suicide rates in excess of 18: Wyoming (29.7), Montana (23.2), Alaska (23.0), New Mexico (21.2), Colorado (20.3) Utah (19.3) Nevada (19.0), Idaho (18.6). and Oregon (18.6). Three locales had age-adjusted suicide rates lower than 9 per 100,000: New York (8.7) and New Jersey (7.7), and the District of Columbia (5.8).
Suicide Rates by Race/Ethnicity
In 2012, the highest U.S. suicide rate (14.8) was among Whites and the second highest rate (11.0) was among American Indians and Alaskan Natives. Much lower and roughly similar rates were found among Asians
and Pacific Islanders (6.4), Blacks (5.5) and Hispanics (5.4).
In 2012, firearms were the most common method of death by suicide, accounting for a little more than half (50.9%) of all suicide deaths. The next most common methods were suffocation (including hangings) at 24.8% and poisoning at 16.6%.
Economic Impact of Completed Suicides
The economic cost of suicide death in the U.S. is estimated to be $34 billion annually. With the burden of suicide falling most heavily on adults of working age, the cost to the economy results almost entirely from lost wages and work productivity. For more complete statistics refer to AFSP.org or www.suicidology.org