General Statistics (USA)
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US for all ages. (CDC)
Every day, approximately 105 Americans die by suicide. (CDC)
There is one death by suicide in the US every 12 minutes. (CDC)
Depression affects 20-25% of Americans ages 18+ in a given year. (CDC)
Suicide takes the lives of over 38,000 Americans every year. (CDC)
The highest suicide rates in the US are among Whites, American Indians and Alaska Natives.
Only half of all Americans experiencing an episode of major depression receive treatment. (NAMI)
80%-90% of people that seek treatment for depression are treated successfully using therapy and/or medication. (TAPS study)
An estimated quarter million people each year become suicide survivors (AAS).
There is one suicide for every estimated 25 suicide attempts. (CDC)
There is one suicide for every estimated 4 suicide attempts in the elderly. (CDC)
While this data is the most accurate we have, we estimate the numbers to be higher. Stigma surrounding suicide leads to underreporting, and data collection methods critical to suicide prevention need to be improved.
Additional Facts About Suicide in the US
- The annual age-adjusted suicide rate is 13.5 per 100,000 individuals.
- Men die by suicide 3.57x more often than women.
- On average, there are 123 suicides per day.
- White males accounted for 7 of 10 suicides in 2016.
- Firearms account for 51% of all suicides.
- The rate of suicide is highest in middle age — white men in particular.
Suicide Rates by Age
In 2016, the highest suicide rate (19.7) was among adults between 45 and 54 years of age. The second highest rate (19.0) occurred in those 85 years or older. Younger groups have had consistently lower suicide rates than middle-aged and older adults. In 2016, adolescents and young adults aged 15 to 24 had a suicide rate of 12.5.
Suicide Rates by Race/Ethnicity
In 2016, the highest U.S. suicide rate (15.2) was among Whites and the second highest rate (13.5) was among American Indians and Alaska Natives (Figure 5). Much lower and roughly similar rates were found among Asians and Pacific Islanders (6.7), and Black or African Americans (6.1).
Note that the CDC records Hispanic origin separately from the primary racial or ethnic groups of White, Black, American Indian or Alaskan Native, and Asian or Pacific Islander, since individuals in all of these groups may also be Hispanic.
In 2016, firearms were the most common method of death by suicide, accounting for a little more than half (51.0%) of all suicide deaths. The next most common methods were suffocation (including hangings) at 25.9% and poisoning at 14.9%.
No complete count is kept of suicide attempts in the U.S.; however, each year the CDC gathers data from hospitals on non-fatal injuries from self-harm.
494,169 people visited a hospital for injuries due to self-harm. This number suggests that approximately 12 people harm themselves for every reported death by suicide. However, because of the way these data are collected, we are not able to distinguish intentional suicide attempts from non-intentional self-harm behaviors.
Many suicide attempts, however, go unreported or untreated. Surveys suggest that at least one million people in the U.S. each year engage in intentionally inflicted self-harm.
Females attempt suicide twice as often as males. As with suicide deaths, rates of attempted suicide vary considerably among demographic groups. Males are 4 times more likely than females to die by suicide. The ratio of suicide attempts to suicide death in youth is estimated to be about 25:1, compared to about 4:1 in the elderly.
AFSP’s latest data on suicide are taken from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Data & Statistics Fatal Injury Report for 2016. Suicide rates listed are Age-Adjusted Rates.
Suicide claims more lives than war, murder, and natural disasters combined.
- In 2015 (latest available data), there were 44,193 reported suicide deaths in the U.S.
- Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for those between the ages of 15 and 34 in the United States.
- Currently, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States.
- A person dies by suicide about every 12.8 minutes in the United States.
- Every day, approximately 121 Americans take their own life.
- Ninety percent of all people who die by suicide have a diagnosable psychiatric disorder at the time of their death.
- There are four male suicides for every female suicide, but three times as many females as males attempt suicide.
- 494,169 people visited a hospital for injuries due to self-harm behavior, suggesting that approximately 12 people harm themselves (not necessarily intending to take their lives) for every reported death by suicide.
25 million Americans suffer from depression each year.
- Over 50 percent of all people who die by suicide suffer from major depression. If one includes alcoholics who are depressed, this figure rises to over 75 percent.
- Depression affects nearly 5-8 percent of Americans ages 18 and over in a given year.
- More Americans suffer from depression than coronary heart disease, cancer, and HIV/AIDS.
- Depression is among the most treatable of psychiatric illnesses. Between 80 percent and 90 percent of people with depression respond positively to treatment, and almost all patients gain some relief from their symptoms. But first, depression has to be recognized.
The best way to prevent suicide is through early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of depression and other mood disorders.
Figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Data & Statistics Fatal Injury Report for 2015.