Suicide

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Suicide Notes

As the 10th leading cause of death for Americans, suicide exacts a huge human and financial toll. What are the statistics behind suicide, and how can you tell if you or someone close to you is at risk of attempting to take their own life?

By the Numbers

Nearly 40,000 Americans take their own lives every year, putting suicide in the top 10 for causes of death for people in the U.S. (1)

Someone in the U.S. dies by suicide every 13.3 minutes. (1)

Top 10 causes of death (2011) (2)

Heart disease: 596,577

Cancer: 576,691

Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 142,943

Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 128,932

Accidents (unintentional injuries): 126,438

Alzheimer’s disease: 84,974

Diabetes: 73,831

Influenza and pneumonia: 53,826

Kidney disease: 45,591

Intentional self-harm (suicide): 39,518

Suicide rate by state (per 100,000) (3)

Wyoming: 23.2

Alaska: 23.1

Montana: 22.9

Nevada: 20.3

New Mexico: 20.1

Idaho: 18.5

Oregon: 17.9

Colorado: 17.2

South Dakota: 17.2

Utah: 17.1

Arizona: 17.1

Vermont: 16.9

Oklahoma: 16.5

North Dakota: 15.8

Arkansas: 15.3

Hawaii: 15.2

West Virginia: 15.1

New Hampshire: 14.9

Tennessee: 14.9

Florida: 14.8

Kentucky: 14.5

Missouri: 14.3

Washington: 14.2

Alabama: 14.2

Kansas: 14.1

Maine: 14

Wisconsin: 13.9

South Carolina: 13.8

Indiana: 13.3

Mississippi: 13.1

Michigan: 12.8

Ohio: 12.5

Pennsylvania: 12.4

North Carolina: 12.3

Louisiana: 12.3

Rhode Island: 12.3

Iowa: 12.2

Virginia: 12

Delaware: 11.8

Georgia: 11.7

Texas: 11.5

Minnesota: 11.4

Nebraska: 10.6

California: 10.5

Connecticut: 9.9

Illinois: 9.2

Massachusetts: 9.1

Maryland: 8.7

New Jersey: 8.2

New York: 8

District of Columbia: 6.8

U.S. suicide rate by year (per 100,000 people) (1)

1981: 12.3

1982: 12.4

1983: 12.3

1984: 12.6

1985: 12.5

1986: 13

1987: 12.8

1988: 12.5

1989: 12.3

1990: 12.5

1991: 12.3

1992: 12

1993: 12

1994: 11.9

1995: 11.8

1996: 11.5

1997: 11.2

1998: 11.1

1999: 10.5

2000: 10.4

2001: 10.7

2002: 10.9

2003: 10.8

2004: 11

2005: 10.9

2006: 11

2007: 11.3

2008: 11.6

2009: 11.7

2010: 12.1

2011: 12.3

Suicide methods (2010) (1)

Firearms 50.6%

Suffocation (including hangings) 24.8%

Poisoning 17.3%

Other 7.5%

Gender, Age and Ethnicity

By age group (suicides per 100,000 people, 2011) (1)

>14: 0.5

15-24: 11

25-44: 15.5

45-64: 18.8

65-84: 15.1

85+: 16.9

By gender (suicides per 100,000 people, 2011) (1)

Male: 78.5%

Female: 21.5%

By ethnic group (suicides per 100,000 people, 2011) (1)

White: 14.5

American Indians/Alaskan native: 10.6

Asian/Pacific islander: 5.9

African-American: 5.3

Hispanic: 5.2

Despite representing about 2 percent of the overall U.S. population, Native Americans have the second-highest suicide rate. (1, 4)

Economic Impact

$34 billion

Estimated annual cost of suicide deaths in the U.S., taking into account lost wages and productivity (1)

$8 billion

Estimated annual costs from non-fatal self-harm injuries, including medical care and economic costs (1)

713,000

Emergency department visits for self-inflicted injury (2010) (2)

Around the World

Suicide rate by country (per 100,000 people, most recent years available) (5)

South Korea: 24.7

Hungary: 21.0

Japan: 19.4

Belgium: 18.4

Finland: 16.5

France: 14.6

Austria: 13.8

Poland: 13.8

Czech Republic: 12.7

New Zealand: 11.9

Denmark: 11.3

Sweden: 11.1

Norway: 10.9

Slovak Republic: 10.9

Iceland: 10.4

Germany: 10.3

Canada: 10.2

United States: 10.1

Luxembourg: 9.5

Portugal: 8.7

Netherlands: 7.9

Spain: 6.3

Britain: 6

Italy: 5.5

Mexico: 4.4

Greece: 2.9

Warning Signs

When should you worry about yourself or a loved one? Look out for these signs: (6, 7)

  • Talking about wanting to die
  • Researching methods of suicide
  • Talk of hopelessness
  • Referring to self as a burden on others
  • Increased alcohol or drug use
  • Reckless behavior
  • Change in sleeping patterns (too much or too little)
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Self-isolation
  • Loss of interest in hobbies or activities
  • Sudden sense of calm in absence of therapeutic or medical intervention

How you can help: (7)

  • Call 911.
  • Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
  • Speak to a local crisis agency.
  • Check yourself into the ER, or convince loved one to go to the hospital.
  • Keep person in crises away from weapons or other things they could use to harm themselves.

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Sources:
1. https://www.afsp.org
2. http://www.cdc.gov
3. http://www.hopeline.com
4. http://quickfacts.census.gov
5. http://www.washingtonpost.com
6. http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org
7. http://www.save.org