U.S. Suicide Rate Up 24 Percent Since 1999: CDC

April 29, 2016

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News

U.S. News & World Report

The U.S. suicide rate rose a total of 24 percent between 1999 and 2014, with 1 percent increases each year from 1999 to 2006 and 2 percent increases from 2007 to 2014, according to a report just released by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics. Over the 15 years, the rate for men ages 45 to 64 rose 43 percent. The number of girls ages 10 to 14 who died by suicide rose to 150 in 2014, an increase of 200 percent [up from 50 suicides in 1999]. The findings also cover suicide rates for other groups by age and sex as well as by racial/ethnic group and by method. However, according to Daniel Reidenberg, managing director of the National Council for Suicide Prevention, “One thing that the findings don’t tell us is how many lives we are saving from suicide every day or every year through suicide prevention efforts.” There does not appear to be a single cause for the increases, said Deborah Stone, a behavioral scientist at the CDC. However, she thinks contributing factors may include the economic recession that started in 2008 and increases in the rates of mental health problems, drug abuse, and gun availability. In terms of addressing the problem Stone said, “It takes a community-wide effort to prevent suicides, so we can’t expect one thing is going to solve everything.”

Spark Extra! For more information, read the National Center for Health Statistics Data Brief and the response from the Action Alliance to the CDC report.