Suicide FAQs & Statistics

Source:  https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/suicide.shtml

Suicide is a Leading Cause of Death in the United States

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) WISQARS Leading Causes of Death Reports, in 2016:

  • Suicide was the tenth leading cause of death overall in the United States, claiming the lives of nearly 45,000 people.
  • Suicide was the second leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 10 and 34, and the fourth leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 35 and 54.
  • There were more than twice as many suicides (44,965) in the United States as there were homicides (19,362).

 

Age-adjusted suicide rates in the United States for each year from 1999 through 2016 for the total population, and for males and females presented separately:

  • During that 17-year period, the total suicide rate increased 28% from 10.5 to 13.4 per 100,000.
  • The suicide rate among males remained nearly four times higher (21.3 per 100,000 in 2016) than among females (6.0 per 100,000 in 2016)
  • Firearms were the method used in more than half of male suicides (56.6%) and almost 1/3 of female suicides (32.1%)
  • 4.0% of adults age 18 and older in the United States reported thoughts about suicide in 2016 (Source: 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health by SAMHSA)
  • 0.5% of adults (1.3 million) age 18 and older in the United States made a suicide attempt in 2016, and 1.8% of those 18-25 made a suicide attempt

 

Definitions

Suicide is a major public health concern. Suicide is among the leading causes of death in the United States. Based on recent nationwide surveys, suicide in some populations is on the rise.

  • Suicide is defined as death caused by self-directed injurious behavior with intent to die as a result of the behavior.
  • A suicide attempt is a non-fatal, self-directed, potentially injurious behavior with intent to die as a result of the behavior. A suicide attempt might not result in injury.
  • Suicidal ideation refers to thinking about, considering, or planning suicide.

Additional information about suicide can be found on the NIMH health topics page on Suicide Prevention.