Americans Living in Rural Areas More Likely to Die by Suicide

October 20, 2017

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News

CBS News

According to a new federal report, suicide rates are significantly higher in rural areas of the country than urban areas. Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) looked at data from all 50 states and the District of Columbia between 2001 and 2015. They found that while suicide rates rose across all levels of urbanization, increases were steepest and rates were highest in rural areas. During the study period, suicide rates were 17.32 in rural counties, 14.86 in medium/small metropolitan counties, and 11.92 in large metropolitan counties per 100,000 people. The authors suggested that the negative effects of the economic recession, which are more prevalent in rural areas, may be associated with higher suicide risk. “The trends in suicide rates by sex, race, ethnicity, age, and mechanism that we see in the general population are magnified in rural areas,” said CDC Division of Violence Prevention Director James A. Mercy. “This report underscores the need for suicide prevention strategies that are tailored specifically for these communities.”

Spark Extra! Read the CDC report.