Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. It was responsible for more than 47,500 deaths in 2019.
Facts About Suicide
Suicide is a leading cause of death.
Suicide is death caused by injuring oneself with the intent to die. A suicide attempt is when someone harms themselves with any plan to end their life, but they do not die due to their actions.
Many factors can increase the risk of suicide or protect against it. Suicide is connected to other forms of injury and violence. For example, people who have experienced violence, including child abuse, bullying, or sexual violence, have a higher suicide risk. Being connected to family and community support and having easy access to health care can decrease suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
Suicide is a serious public health problem.
Suicide rates increased 30% between 2000–2018 and declined in 2019 and 2020. Suicide is a leading cause of death in the United States,3 with 45,979 deaths in 2020. This is about one death every 11 minutes.3 The number of people who think about or attempt suicide is even higher. In 2020, an estimated 12.2 million American adults seriously thought about suicide, 3.2 million planned a suicide attempt, and 1.2 million attempted suicide.4
Suicide affects all ages. In 2020, suicide was among the top 9 leading causes of death for people ages 10-64. Suicide was the second leading cause of death for people ages 10-14 and 25-34.3
Some groups have higher suicide rates than others. Suicide rates vary by race/ethnicity, age, and other factors, such as where someone lives. By race/ethnicity, the groups with the highest rates were non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native and non-Hispanic White populations. 3 Other Americans with higher than average rates of suicide are veterans, people who live in rural areas, and workers in specific industries and occupations like mining and construction.5,6 Young people who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual have higher rates of suicidal thoughts and behavior compared to their peers who identify as heterosexual.