Means of Suicide

Firearms were the most common means of suicide in the United States in 2020, followed by suffocation and poisoning.1

Firearms were used in over half of all suicides among males in 2020.1

Among females, firearms were the most common means of suicide in 2020. Suicide by means of firearm, suffocation, and drug poisoning accounted for almost nine in ten suicides.1

In 2020, firearms were a common means of suicide for males of all age groups. Firearms were used in over three-quarters of suicide deaths among males over age 65. Suicide by means of firearm or suffocation accounted for most suicides among males in all age groups.1

Females of different ages used different means of suicide in 2020. Younger females were most likely to die by suffocation, while suicide by means of poisoning was more common among older females.1


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021). Web-based injury statistics query and reporting system (WISQARS). National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.

The charts and graphs in this section are also available as a PowerPoint slide set. Feel free to use this slide set to deliver a presentation about the scope of the suicide problem.