Suicide statistics:

Suicide in the United States:

  • Approximately 30,000 suicides a year in the United States (34,598 in 2007). We don’t know exact numbers because some suicides are still classified as other types of death (accident, etc.). The 2007 are the most recent figures we have because it takes several years for the state data to be gathered in one place. There isn’t one reporting system that all the states use.
  • National average is 11.5 suicides per 100,00 deaths.
  • Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in the nation (homicide is 15).
  • Western states typically are in the top five for rate per 100,000 (reasons include isolation, access to means like guns, less healthcare– in 2007 the top five were Alaska, Montana, New Mexico, Wyoming, and Nevada).
  • The middle-aged men age group most likely to die by suicide.
  • A person dies every 15.2 minutes each day (94.8 each day).
  • 3.6 men die by suicide for each female (but women are three times more likely to attempt suicide than men).
  • Men typically use guns to kill themselves (50% of the suicides in the United States are by gun; worldwide, the most used method is pesticide).
  • Women are more likely to use poisoning to kill themselves (usually pills).
  • Suicide is the third leading cause of death for young (behind homicides and accidents).
  • In 2007, 119 children ages 10 to 14 killed themselves in the US (an increase of over 50% between 1981 and 2007).
  • More elderly (65+ years old) die by suicide than youth 14 to 24 years old (5,421 to 4,140).
  • Approximately 1 million people attempt suicide in the US each year. We have little data on attempts because many aren’t reported.  Approximately an attempt every 38 seconds.
  • From 2005 to 2009, more than 1,100 service men and women died by suicide. A link between deployment to a war zone and increased suicide risk was reported by the Institute of Medicine in 2008. Also in 2008, suicides among active-duty soldiers were the highest they have been in 28 years, surpassing the suicide rates among civilians. The Army and Marines have experienced the most significant increases in suicide rates.”In fiscal Year 2009, 160 active duty soldiers took their lives, making suicide the third leading cause of death among the Army population. If we include accidental death, which frequently is the result of high risk behavior (drinking and driving, drug overdose, etc.) we find that less young men and women die in combat than die by their own actions.” Reference: Army (2010) Health promotion risk reduction suicide prevention report 2010.
  • While white males represent the highest rate per 100,000 people (20.5), Native American men follow at 12.1 per 1000,000 people. (
  • Where do suicides occur in the United States? Note: The interview below calls Las Vegas the “Suicide Capital of America” which is a misleading headline. This article is not really claiming that Las Vegas has the highest suicide rate of any city in the USA. The article/interview provides data and information suggesting a risk clearly higher than the nation as a whole and speculates about possible reasons that might account for this.


  • Every year, almost one million people die from suicide; a “global” mortality rate of 16 per 100,000, or one death every 40 seconds.
  • Mental disorders (particularly depression and alcohol use disorders) are a major risk factor for suicide in Europe and North America; however, in Asian countries impulsiveness plays an important role. Suicide is complex with psychological, social, biological, cultural, and environmental factors involved.(

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