Suicide Deaths, U.S., 2001*
- Suicide was the 11th leading cause of death in the United
- It was the 8th leading cause of death for males, and
19th leading cause of death for females.
- The total number of suicide deaths was 30,622.
- The 2001 age-adjusted rate** was 10.7/100,000 or 0.01%.
- 1.3% of total deaths were from suicide. By contrast, 29% were
from diseases of the heart, 23% were from malignant neoplasms
(cancer), and 6.8% were from cerebrovascular disease (stroke)
- the three leading causes.
- Suicides outnumbered homicides (20,308) by 3 to 2.
- There were twice as many deaths due to suicide than deaths due
to HIV/AIDS (14,175).
- Suicide by firearms was the most common method for both men and
women, accounting for 55% of all suicides.
- More men than women die by suicide.
- The gender ratio is 4:1.
- 73% of all suicide deaths are white males.
- 80% of all firearm suicide deaths are white males.
- Among the highest rates (when categorized by gender and race) are
suicide deaths for white men over 85, who had a rate of 54/100,000.
- Suicide was the 3rd leading cause of death among young people 15
to 24 years of age, following unintentional injuries and homicide.
The rate was 9.9/100,000 or .01%.
- The suicide rate among children ages 10-14 was 1.3/100,000 or
272 deaths among 20,910,440 children in this age group. The gender
ratio for this age group was 3:1 (males: females).
- The suicide rate among adolescents aged 15-19 was 7.9/100,000
or 1,611 deaths among 20,271,312 adolescents in this age group.
The gender ratio for this age group was 5:1 (males: females).
- Among young people 20 to 24 years of age, the suicide rate was
12/100,000 or 2,360 deaths among 19,711,423 people in this age
group. The gender ratio for this age group was 7:1 (males: females).
- No annual national data on all attempted suicides are available.
- Other research indicates that:
- there are an estimated 8-25 attempted suicides for each suicide
death; the ratio is higher in women and youth and lower in men
and the elderly.
- more women than men report a history of attempted suicide, with
a gender ratio of 3:1.
* 2001 U.S. mortality data are based on the International Classification
of Disease, 10th revision (ICD-10), whereas ICD-9 has been used from
1979-1998. For this reason, comparisons between data from years 1999-2001
and earlier mortality data should be made carefully. For a full explanation
of the implications of this change, see http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/wisqars/fatal/help/datasources.htm#6.3.
** Age-adjusted rates refer to weighting rates by a population standard
to allow for comparisons across time and among risk groups. The 2001
mortality data are calculated using figures from the 2000 census, whereas
previous years have been calculated using 1940 census data. For this
reason, comparisons between data from years 2000 to 2001 and earlier
mortality data should be made carefully. For a full explanation of the
implications of this change, see http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/wisqars/fatal/help/datasources.htm#6.2.