U.S. Suicide Death Statistics

Suicide Deaths Mortality

In 2016, suicide accounted for

44,965 deaths

—Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States, according to data from the CDC. In 2016, nearly 45,000 Americans took their own lives—more than the number of deaths from automobile accidents or opioid overdoses. 

The national suicide rate has been rising steadily since the mid-2000's. However, the increase in suicide rates is not distributed equally among regions, or demographic groups. 

Individuals, the media, and public health departments all have important roles to play in reducing the risk of suicide. The CDC released a technical package (pdf) of suicide-prevention policies, programs, and practices. Individuals interested in learning more about suicide can visit the National Suicide Prevention Hotline's website, Be the One to Save a Life.

How do suicide statistics vary by state?

In 2016, Montana had the highest age-adjusted suicide rate at about 26 deaths per 100,000 people. New Jersey had the lowest: 7.2 deaths per 100,000 people. (To see data for different years, drag the time-slider beneath the map.)

How do suicide statistics vary by demographics?

By Sex

Nationally, men are significantly more likely to commit suicide than women. Research suggests gender differences not just in the outcomes but also in the psychological characteristics leading up to suicide ideation [1]. Effective prevention strategies should take into account these differences.

By Race

The suicide rate for whites in has steadily increased since 1999; in 2016, it was 15.2 deaths per 100,000—more than twice as high as the suicide rate for African Americans and Asians/Pacific Islanders. The suicide rate for Native Americans was nearly as high in 2016: 13.5 deaths per 100,000.

Other differences manifest between racial groups. For example, nationally, the age ranges with the highest rates of suicide differ greatly for Native Americans—peaking in adolescence—than for other race groups [2]. 

By Age

Overall, middle-aged adults have the highest and fastest-increasing suicide rate. Since 1999, the rate has increased for most age groups, though the oldest age range has remained relatively constant. 

More Information

1. "Gender-differences in risk factors for suicidal behaviour." NIH, 2014. 

2. "Racial and Ethnic Disparities." Suicide Prevention Resource Center.

3. "Suicide Statistics." American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.  

4. "Preventing Suicide: A Technical Package of Policy, Programs, and Practices (pdf)." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2017.

About the Data 

Mortality data in this story was queried from the CDC Wonder API, based on the following parameters:

• UCD codes: X60-X84, Y87.0.