Suicide Fact Sheet

  • There are over 30,000 suicides in the United States each year: about one completed suicide each 16 minutes and one attempt every minute. 1
  • Internationally, about one million people die by suicide each year – more than war and homicide combined. 2
  • Two thirds of suicidal deaths occur on the first attempt. 3
  • While men complete suicide four times as often as women (17.7 per 100,000 for men versus 4.6 per 100,000 for women), women attempt suicide twice as often as men. 4
  • About 5 percent of people who engage in deliberate self harm (e.g., cutting) die by suicide within five to 10 years. 5
  • More than 90 percent of persons who complete suicide have a mental disorder at the time of death, most commonly depression, alcohol abuse, or both. 6
  • Almost 75 percent of suicides are completed by white males, who have a twofold higher risk for suicide than black males (19.1 per 100,000 versus 10.4 per 100,000). 7
  • The average medical cost per completed suicide: $3,875; The average work-loss cost per completed suicide: $1,178,684. 8
  • Native Americans are also at high risk for suicide (12.9 per 100,000); however, there is great variability within this diverse population. 9
  • 972,264 Years of Potential Life Lost to suicide each year. 10
  • Each suicide death intimately and profoundly affects at least six people. 11
  • During the previous 12 months, more than one-fourth of adults reported having symptoms that would qualify them for a diagnosis of a mental disorder; and most of those disorders can be classified as serious or moderate. 12
  • More Americans suffer from depression than coronary heart disease (7 million), cancer (6 million) and AIDS (200,000) combined. 13

From: Suicide Prevention Resource Center. Suicides 1999-2003, Fact Sheet.

  1. American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (n.d.) Facts and figures: National Statistics. Retrieved on September 30, 2007 from www.afsp.org.
  2. American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (n.d.) Facts and figures: International statistics. Retrieved on September 30, 2007 from www.afsp.org.
  3. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Screening for Suicide Risk: Recommendation and Rationale. May 2004. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/clinic/3rduspstf/suicide/suiciderr.htm.
  4. American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (n.d.) Facts and figures by gender. Retrieved on September 30, 2007 from www.afsp.org.
  5. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force
  6. Ibid
  7. Ibid
  8. Suicide Prevention Resource Center (n.d.) Fact sheet. Retrieved on September 30, 2007 from www.sprc.org.
  9. CDC’s WISQARS website “Fatal Injury Reports” and “Leading Cause of Deaths Reports”: http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/wisqars/. Retrieved September 30, 2007.
  10. Ibid
  11. Ibid
  12. Kessler, R., Chiu, W., Demler, P. & Walters, E. (2005). Prevalence, severity, and comorbidity of 12-Month DSM-IV disorders in the national comorbidity survey replication Archives of General Psychiatry, 62, 617-627.
  13. American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (n.d.) Facts and Figures: National statistics. Retrieved on September 30, 2007 from www.afsp.org.

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