White Populations

White and Caucasian are terms used to describe people who are descended from any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa.1 These terms can include people from many different ethnic backgrounds. Most national health data sources use the term White and typically separate out Hispanics. On this web page we use the term White, and the data do not include people of Hispanic ethnicity. In 2018, White populations comprised an estimated 60.4% of the U.S. population.2

At 16.8 per 100,000, the age-adjusted suicide rate for White populations in 2020 was higher than the overall U.S. suicide rate of 13.5 per 100,000.2

The pattern of suicide death rates among White populations increases from age 15 to 54, when a decline occurs. An increase occurs again from age 75 to 85+. For the overall U.S. population, there is an increase from age 15 to 54 and a decrease until age 74, then an increase from age 75 to 85+.​2

As in the overall U.S. population, the suicide death rate for men is more than three to four times the rate for women in White populations. The suicide death rate for White populations is higher than that of the overall U.S. population for both males and females.2

Compared to the overall U.S. population, similar percentages of White adults reported past-year serious thoughts of suicide, a past-year suicide plan, or a past-year suicide attempt.1

Among White high school youth, the percentage of those who seriously considered attempting suicide and making a suicide plan is similar to the overall U.S. population. The percentages of White youth who attempt suicide and attempt suicide requiring treatment is slightly less than the overall U.S. population.3


  1. Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (2021). 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Detailed Tables. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Rockville, MD. Retrieved from https://www.samhsa.gov/data/report/2020-nsduh-detailed-tables
  2. SOURCE: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. (2021). 1999-2020 Wide Ranging Online Data for Epidemiological Research (WONDER), Multiple Cause of Death files [Data file]. Retrieved from http://wonder.cdc.gov/ucd-icd10.html
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System. (2021). 1991-2019 High School Youth Risk Behavior Survey Data [Data file]. Retrieved from http://nccd.cdc.gov/youthonline/

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.