According the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the age-adjusted suicide rate in the United States increased 24%, from 10.5 to 13.0 per 100,000 population, from 1999 through 2014. The pace of increase was greatest after 2006.
Key findings of the study
- Suicide rates increased from 1999 through 2014 for both males and females and for all ages 10–74.
- The percent increase in suicide rates for females was greatest for those aged 10–14, and for males, those aged 45–64.
- The most frequent suicide method in 2014 for males involved the use of firearms (55.4%), while poisoning was the most frequent method for females (34.1%).
- Percentages of suicides attributable to suffocation increased for both sexes between 1999 and 2014.
Suicide is an important public health issue involving psychological, biological, and societal factors (1, 2). After a period of nearly consistent decline in suicide rates in the United States from 1986 through 1999 (3), suicide rates have increased almost steadily from 1999 through 2014. While suicide among adolescents and young adults is increasing and among the leading causes of death for those demographic groups (4), suicide among middle-aged adults is also rising (5). This report presents an overview of suicide mortality in the United States from 1999 through 2014. Suicide rates in 1999 are compared with 2014 for both females and males across age groups, and percentages are compared by method (firearms, poisoning, suffocation, and other means).
- The age-adjusted suicide rate in 2014, 13.0 per 100,000 population, was 24% higher than the rate in 1999 (10.5) (Figure 1).
- The average annual percent increase in the age-adjusted suicide rate was about 1% per year from 1999 through 2006 but increased to 2% per year from 2006 through 2014.
- In 2014, the age-adjusted rate for males (20.7) was more than three times that for females (5.8).
- From 1999 through 2014, the percent increase in the age-adjusted suicide rate was greater for females (45% increase) than males (16% increase), resulting in a narrowing of the gender gap in suicide rates (as measured by rate ratios). The ratio of male to female suicide rates was lower in 2014 (3.6) than in 1999 (4.5).
Notes: Suicide deaths are identified with codes U03, X60–X84, and Y87.0 from the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, Tenth Revision. Access data table for Figure 1.
Source: NCHS, National Vital Statistics System, Mortality.
From: Increase in Suicide in the United States, 1999–2014. National Center for Health Statistics Data Brief No. 241, April 2016. Sally C. Curtin, M.A., Margaret Warner, Ph.D., and Holly Hedegaard, M.D., M.S.P.H.