Suicide in the United States
Where did we go wrong as Americans? It is shocking to see the statistics relating to suicidal deaths in the U.S. The numbers never lie. Following a recent trend, suicide seems to be the tenth leading cause of death in the United States of America as per Center for Disease Control (CDC) statistics. It is estimated that the number could be higher due to the stigma surrounding suicide and leading to the underreporting of cases.
There was a lapse in the rate of suicide deaths from 1990-2000, from 12.5 to down to 10.4 cases per 100,000 (“SAVE | Suicide Facts, 2016”) individuals yearly. However, over the past ten years, there has been a rise in suicide rates to 12.1 per 100,000 individuals annually.
Before we can take the necessary measures needed to stop or solve the danger, we need to have the correct information. Several types of research have been carried out both by the government and non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) and in particular the CDC trying to find out what exactly is happening on the ground.
For a Better Understanding of the Statistics, let’s Break it Down into Three Categories:
- Suicide Rates by Method
- Suicide Rates by Race
- Suicide Rates by Age
Suicide Rates by Method
The leading methods of suicide are the use of a firearm, suffocation, and poisoning. When you watch the news, you will often see a case of someone who has ended their life through the use of one of these methods. Shocking as it is, firearms represent 50% of most suicide cases with the number of deaths currently standing at 21,175 (“Suicide Statistics – AFSP, 2016”). At its tail is suffocation following with 26.7% with the death toll standing at 10,062 (“Suicide Statistics – AFSP, 2016”). To crown it all poisoning is leading with 15.9% with the number of deaths rising to 6,637 (“Suicide Statistics – AFSP”).
Suicide Rates by Race
The United States of America is considered to be a cosmopolitan nation with a rich cultural diversity. Despite this, studies reveal that Caucasians are the leading race when it comes to committing suicide.
Below are Statistics of Current Suicide Rates Based on Race
- Caucasians (14.7%) (“Faststats, 2016”)
- American Indians and Alaska Natives (10.9%) (“Faststats, 2016”)
- Hispanics (6.3%) (“Faststats, 2016”)
- Asians and Pacific Islanders (5.9%) (“Faststats, 2016”)
- Blacks (5.5%) (“Faststats, 2016”)
Suicide Rates by Age
Did you know for every 100,000 children between the ages of 10 and 14 one will die by suicide each year? Research performed by the CDC shows that suicide is the second leading cause of death among the 15-24 age bracket (“Suicide, 2016”) and the fourth cause of death among the 18-65 age bracket. Suicide rates among the elderly are highest in divorcees and the widowed. Below is a list providing more information about the statistics on suicide rates by age.
- Out of 100,000, one child is likely to die in the age group 10-14 (“Suicide,2016”).
- Out of 100,000 aged between 15-19, seven will die each year (“Suicide, 2016”).
- Out of 100,000 aged between 20-24, 12.7 will die each year (“Suicide, 2016”).
- The highest rise in suicide is in males over 50 (“Suicide, 2016”).
- Suicide rates for females are highest among those aged 45-54 (“Suicide, 2016”).
- Suicide rates among the elderly are highest in divorcees and the widowed.
“Faststats.” Cdc.gov. N.p., 2016. Web. 17 May 2016. “Suicide.” Mental Health America. N.p., 2016. Web. 17 May 2016. “SAVE | Suicide Facts.” Save.org. N.p., 2016. Web. 17 May 2016. “Suicide Statistics – AFSP.”. AFSP. N.p., 2016. Web. 17 May 2016.