Facts About Suicide
- Suicide is preventable. Most suicidal individuals desperately want to live; they are just unable to see alternatives to their problems.
- Most suicidal individuals give definite warnings of their suicidal intentions, but others are either unaware of the significance of these warnings or do not know how to respond to them.
- Talking about suicide does not cause someone to be suicidal.
- Suicide occurs across all age, economic, social, and ethnic boundaries.
- Suicidal behavior is complex and not a response to one problem that person is experiencing. Some Risk factors vary with age, gender, or ethnic group and may occur in combination or change over time.
- Surviving family members not only suffer the trauma of losing a loved one to suicide, and may themselves be at higher risk for suicide and emotional problems.
*SOURCE: Information was adapted from the American Association of Suicidology. Understanding and Helping the Suicidal Individual. Retrieved on July 30, 2010 from http://www.suicidology.org/c/document_library/get_file?folderId=232&name=DLFE-30.pdf
U.S.A. National Statistics
Statistics are based on current 2007 statistics, which is the latest year for which we have national statistics. U.S.A Suicide: 2007 Official Final Data
- Suicide is currently the 11th leading cause of death in the U.S. This translates into an annual suicide rate of approximately 11 per 100,00 people die a year by suicide, out ranking homicides (ranked as the 15th leading cause of death)
- Since 1990, suicide rates have ranged from 12.4 to 10.7 per 100,00. An overall decrease in suicide rates during this time period suggest that suicide prevention efforts are working
- In 2007, there were 34,598 completed suicides in the U.S. Approximately one person kills themselves every 15 minutes.
- In 2007, there were 864,950 attempted suicide in the U.S. Approximately on person attempts suicide every 38 seconds.
- It is generally estimated that there are 25 attempts for one death by suicide.
- Between 25 and 50 percent of people who kill themselves had previously attempted suicide. Those who have made suicide attempts are at higher risk for actually taking their own lives.
- Each suicide intimately effects at least 6 other people (estimate); in 2007 it is estimated that 1 in every 65 Americans became a suicide loss survivor.
- The most commonly reported means of completing suicide, across all groups, was by firearm (50.2%), followed by suffocation/hanging (23.6%), poisoning (18.4%), cutting (1.8%) and drowning (1%).
- Suicide rates have traditionally decreased in times of war and increased in times of economic crises. Official data has not been gathered regarding these relationships.
- Suicide rates are the highest among the divorced, separated, and widowed and lowest among the married.
- Risk of attempted (nonfatal) suicide is greatest among females and the young.
- Mental health diagnoses are generally associated with a higher rate of suicide. Psychological autopsy studies reflect that more than 90% of completed suicides had one or more mental disorders.
- Relative to those younger, rates of completed suicide are highest among adults between the ages of 44-64, followed by an equally high rate for the elderly (age 80 and over).
- It is estimated that elderly adults have rates of suicide close to 50% higher than that of the nation as a whole (all ages).
- Suicide is currently ranked as the 3rd leading cause of death for youth (15-24 years old) in the U.S. behind accidents (1st) and homicides (2nd).
- From the late 1970’s to the mid 1990’s, suicide rates for youth remained stable and, since then, have slightly decreased.
- Prevalence of Suicide in College Students:
- Among the general population of young adults aged 18-24, homicide and suicide are, respectively, the second and third leading causes of death. While no official studies have compared the homicide and suicide rates among college students, due to the relatively low incidences of homicide on college campuses suicide is considered the 2nd leading cause of death for college students, preceded by accidents (1st).
- Available data suggests that suicide occurs at a rate between 6.5 and 7.5 per 100,000 among college students, approximately half the rate for nonstudent college-aged adults
- 15 percent of graduate and 18 percent of undergraduate students have seriously considered attempting suicide in their lifetimes. Between 40 and 50 percent of these same students report multiple episodes of serious suicidal thoughts.
- Students have reported that suicidal behavior was a consequence of drinking -- 4.5 percent seriously thought about suicide, and 1.3 percent "tried to commit suicide.”
* Data on the prevalence of suicide in college students was retrieved from: SOURCE: Information presented was adapted from the Suicide Prevention Resource Center. Campus data: Prevalence. Retrieved on March 21, 2010 from http://www2.sprc.org/collegesanduniversities/campus-data-prevalence
- More than half (50.2%) of the individuals who took their own lives in 2007 used firearms. Males used it more often than their female counterparts.
- The most common method of suicide for all females was poisoning. In fact, poisoning has surpassed firearms for female suicides since 2001
- Males complete suicide at a rate 3.6 times that of females. However, females attempt suicide three times
more often than males.
- Caucasians (12.9 per 100,000) have higher rates of completed suicides than African Americans (4.9 per 100,000).
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that, between 1999 and 20041, among Black Americans:
- The suicide rate for all ages was 5.25 per 100,000, about half the overall U.S. rate of 10.75 per 100,000.
- Suicide was the third leading cause of death for Black Americans between the ages of 15 and 24.
- Young males (ages 20-24) had the highest rate of suicide in the black population, 18.18 per 100,000.
- Black Americans have a lifetime prevalencerate of attempted suicide of 4.1%, similar to the general population rate of 4.6%
*Reproduced from the origional source. Suicide Prevention Resource Center. Suicide Among Black Americans. Retrieved August 1, 2010 from http://www.sprc.org/library/black.am.facts.pdf
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that, from 1999 to 2004, among Hispanic Americans1:
- Suicide ranked as the 11th leading cause of death for individuals of Hispanic origin of all races and ages, and the third leading cause of death for those 15 to 24 years old.
- The suicide rate for all ages was 5.09 per 100,000, about half the overall U.S. rate of 10.75 per 100,000.
- The highest suicide rate, 30.69 per 100,000, was found among adult males 85 and older.
*Reproduced from the origional source. Suicide Prevention Resource Center. Suicide Among Hispanic Americans. Retrieved August 1, 2010 from http://www.sprc.org/library/hispanic.am.facts.pdf
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that, from 1999 to 20041, among American Indains/Alaska Natives:
- Suicide ranked as the eighth leading cause of death for American Indians/Alaska Natives of all ages. Suicide ranked as the second leading cause of death for those from age of 10 to 34.
- The suicide rate for was 10.84 per 100,000, higher than the overall US rate of 10.75.
- Adults aged 25-29 had the highest rate of suicide in the American Indian/Alaska Native population, 20.67 per 100,000.
*Reproduced from the origional source. Suicide Prevention Resource Center. Suicide Among American Inidian/Alaska Natives. Retrieved August 1, 2010 from http://www.spanusa.org/files/General_Documents/Fact_Sheet_Amer_Indian_AK_Native.pdf
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that, between 1999 and 2004, in the Asian American and Pacific Islander population:
- Suicide ranked as the eighth leading cause of death for all ages (compared to eleventh for the overall US population).
- The suicide rate was 5.40 per 100,000, approximately half the overall U.S. rate of 10.75 per 100,000.1
- The highest rate, 27.43 per 100,000, was found among adult males 85 and older.2
*Reproduced from the origional source. Suicide Prevention Resource Center. Suicide Among Asian American/Pacific Islander.. Retrieved August 1, 2010 from http://www.sprc.org/library/asian.pi.facts.pdf
*SOURCE: For information not directly cited, information adapted from resources provided by:
American Association of Suicidology. Statistics. Retrieved July 30, 2010 from http://www.suicidology.org/web/guest/stats-and-tools/statistics
American Association of Suicidology. Fact Sheets. Retrieved July 30, 2010 from http://www.suicidology.org/web/guest/stats-and-tools/fact-sheets
By U.S. Regions
U.S. Medical Regions & USA Suicide Rates
Suicide Fact Sheet for the State of Michigan