Means of Suicide

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

Firearms are used in over half of all suicides among males.1

In 2020, firearms were the most common means of suicide for women.1

Firearms remain a consistent means of suicide for men over time. For men over the age of 65, firearms are used in over three-quarters of suicide deaths.1

The means of suicide used by women changes with age. While younger women are most likely to die by suffocation, poisoning becomes a more common means of suicide as women age.1


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. (2021). Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) [online]. Retrieved from

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.