40 Suicide Statistics & Facts to Help You Pull Through 2021

Suicide Statistics

You have been warned, this article contains plenty of upsetting data on everything you need to know regarding suicide and suicide statistics in the modern-day world. 

World Suicide Prevention Day, observed on September 10th every year, is a global commitment to spreading awareness on this tragic topic and preventing any future suicides. Now, seeing how this topic is highly talked about nowadays, especially with the increasing number of individuals experiencing mental health issues such as depression during the pandemic, these statistics will be of great help in uncovering more about this disturbing act of ultimate self-loathing.

Top 10 Suicide Statistics for 2021 

  • 11% of Americans seriously considered suicide amidst the pandemic.
  • There were around 1.38 million suicide attempts in 2019 in the US.
  • 93% of Americans believe that suicide can be prevented in some cases.
  • Drug abuse and alcoholism increase the chance of suicide by 17.4%.
  • Suicide attempts and suicide cost the United States $70 billion annually.
  • 800,000 individuals around the world take their own lives every year.
  • The country with the lowest suicide rates in the world is Antigua And Barbuda.
  • 21% of transgender and non-binary youth attempted to commit suicide in 2020.
  • 2%–6% of people who have been diagnosed with depression commit suicide.
  • Not using cannabis as a treatment for PTSD may result in higher suicidal intention rates.

Suicide Statistics in the US

What can we learn about the suicide rates in the US?

1. The 10th most common cause of death in America is suicide.

(NIMH)

According to the most recent available data, deaths due to suicide are among the topmost prevalent causes of death in America.  On top of that, suicide is the 4th most common cause of death among people between 35–54, and the second major cause of death among people between 10 and 34. 

Heart disease is in the first place, while cancer is a close second. Chronic lower respiratory disease and stroke are also on the list, but with far smaller death rates.

2. Suicide rates since coronavirus may have increased as 11% of Americans seriously considered suicide amidst the pandemic.

(WKYT)

Based on the CDC records, 40% of Americans reported having at least one mental health problem due to coronavirus. That said, 31% reported feeling depressed and anxious while 26% said they felt stressed and traumatized. It is very worrying that 13% admitted having started (or increased) abusing various substances. 

We still don’t know how many suicidal deaths in 2020 CDC will report to be the direct result of the coronavirus crisis.

3. 81% of Americans believe that suicide prevention should become a national priority during the pandemic.

(AFSP)

2 in 3 people claim that the pandemic made them feel more empathy towards other people, while 9 in 10 Americans think that the media should focus more on mental health issues and the prevention of suicide.

4. Suicide rates by state put Wyoming in the first place with the highest death rates — 29.3 per 100,000 people.

(CDC)

Next to Wyoming, the states with the highest death rates in 2019 were Alaska (28.5 per 100,000), Montana (26.2 per 100,000), New Mexico (24 per 100,00), Colorado (22.1 per 100,000), and Utah (21.2 per 100,000). 

Suicide statistics from 2019 also show that New Jersey had the lowest rates (8 suicides per 100,000 people), as well as New York (8.3 per 100,000) and Massachusetts (8.7 per 100,000).

5. How many suicidal deaths in 2019 happened in the US? 47,511 Americans died by their own hand in 2019.

(CDC) (AFSP)

Suicide rates in the US show that the act caused 14.5 deaths per 100,000 population in 2019, which is the most recent data. 

Suicide by gun statistics claims that firearms took around 23,941 lives that year. Other suicide methods included suffocation (13,563) and poisoning (6,125).

6. There were around 1.38 million suicide attempts in 2019 in the US.

(AFSP)

The suicide rate was the highest among middle-aged white men, who in 2019 accounted for a staggering 69.38% of suicides. 

With that in mind, over half of the suicides were committed using firearms (50.39%).

7. 90% of all suicides were committed by people who had been diagnosed with a mental health issue.

(AFSP) (AFSP)

Suicide statistics reports have confirmed that 44% of Americans believe that seeing a mental health professional is too expensive. Similarly, 41% claim that this option is not available for many people. 

On the other hand, the data also shows us that 51% of people believe it to be a sign of strength, compared to 7% of people who think seeing a mental health professional is a sign of weakness.  

8. 93% of Americans believe that suicide can be prevented in some cases.

(AFSP)

Statistics on suicide show 55% of Americans admit knowing someone who struggles with suicidal thoughts or behaviors. Furthermore, 93% believe that suicide can be prevented in some cases, while a small number of people (4%) think that nothing can be done if someone decides to take their own life. 

9. 73% of people in the US would want to talk about suicidal thoughts if they had them. 

(AFSP)

When having suicidal thoughts, 34% of adult people would most likely talk to a mental health provider, followed by a family member (33%), spouse (32%), and friend (31%). 

Only 5% of people would choose a coworker as their listener, whereas 25% would confide in their primary care doctor and clergy leader (14%), suicide facts reveal. 7% would turn to social media for support or advice.

10. 17.4% of adult American substance abusers seriously pondered suicide.

(JAMA Network) (Statista)

On the other hand, the figure is 3.8% for those that did not abuse any substances. Substance abusers consider suicide by overdosing on drugs—a mix of tablets, drugs, and excessive alcohol. 19.6%–22.5% of drug overdose suicides are linked to benzodiazepines, and 15.4%–17.3% are linked to opioids.  

11. Male suicide statistics in America show that suicide is 3.5 times more common in men than in women.

(AFSP) (BBC)

Men are more likely to take their own lives than their female counterparts (though women are more likely to attempt suicide). The situation is not different in other countries either. In Australia, men are three times more likely to commit suicide, whilst the numbers in Argentina and Russia show that men are over four times more likely to die by suicide.

12. Suicide attempts and suicide cost the United States $70 billion annually, based on suicide statistics and financial reports.

(CDC)

The tragic act also does significant damage to the economy of the country. The costs include medical expenses for families and lost productivity on the employer’s behalf. The suicide act affects the whole environment. 

Suicide Across the Globe

How many people worldwide have had suicidal thoughts and attempts?

13. Nearly 800,000 individuals around the world take their own lives every year.

(WHO) (WHO)

According to the WHO statistics, suicide is a rising global issue, and it occurs in every country on the planet.  

How many people die every day? Facts about suicide illustrate that these numbers equate to the death of one person every 40 seconds. The WHO also found that for each person who died by suicide, there are more than 20 other people attempting to take their own lives.

14.  In 2020, suicide rates in Japan went up for the first time since 2008.

(BBC)  

Japan was known as the country with the highest suicide rates in the world. However, over the years, the country witnessed a drop in numbers. That all changed in 2020. Suicide stats show women suicide rates went up by 70% in October alone, compared to the same period in 2019, and the most affected group were 40-year-old women. In October alone, 879 women committed suicide.

Conversely, this is not only a sharp increase but a shift in gender prevalence compared to the previous years and the 2008 banking crisis when men dominated the unfortunate statistics.

15. Lithuania is the first on the list of the top 10 suicidal countries in the world.

(World Population Review)

An alarming report made by the World Population Review claims that the suicide rate in Lithuania showed 31.9 per 100,000 people commit suicide in this European country. The rates are much higher among men (58.1 per 100,000) than women (9.5 per 100,000). Moreover, the numbers also show that 658 people committed suicide in that country in 2019. 

Other countries on the list include Russia, Guyana, South Korea, Belarus, Suriname, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Latvia, and Lesotho.

16. The country with the lowest suicide rates in the world is Antigua And Barbuda.

(World Population Review)

According to suicide rate statistics, Antigua and Barbuda has the lowest suicide rates in the world, with 0.5 per 100,000 people, followed by Barbados (0.8 per 100,000), Grenada (1.7 per 100,000), Bahamas (1.7 per 100,000), and Syria (1.9). 

17. 19.7% of the Swiss who commit suicide hang themselves.

(NCBI)

It is evident that the most popular way of committing suicide in Switzerland is by hanging, information on suicide methods statistics reveals. A study analyzed 6,497 registered suicides and found that a high percentage of individuals hung themselves, usually from plumbing, windows, or shelves. 

The study also found that Swiss women who hanged themselves were more likely to have been suffering from psychiatric diseases, while men had a higher chance of having a somatic or bodily diagnosis.

18. Alberta, Canada, witnessed a drop in the number of suicides in 2020. 

(CTV News)

According to the current suicide statistics provided by Alberta Justice (that are still susceptible to change), in 2020, 490 people in Alberta took their own life. This stands in contrast to 2019 data, which reported 601 deaths by suicide.

The highest number of suicides was noted in May and July of 2020 (51 deaths by suicide), whereas November was the month with the lowest number of suicide deaths (24). Admittedly, the stats are still missing December figures.

Suicide and the Youth Statistics

How many teenagers are struggling with suicidal thoughts?

19. LGBT suicide statistics show that 21% of transgender and non-binary youth attempted to commit suicide in 2020. The same percentage for cisgender youth was 11%.

(Statista)

34% of cisgender 13-18year-old youth (people whose gender identity is the same as their sex appointed at birth) considered committing suicide as of 2020. Conversely, 52% of people who declare themselves as transgender and non-binary (people who don’t identify themselves as male or female regardless of their assigned birth gender) had similar thoughts. 

Therefore, transgender suicide statistics also report that the number of attempted suicides is 10% higher among non-binary and transgender youth.

20. Young adults made 67% of suicide deaths in India in 2019.

(India Today)

93,061 young adults (aged 18–45) committed suicide in 2019. The youth suicide rates in this country went up by 4% in the last three years. The most commonly used method was hanging. On that note, approximately 74,629 people died by hanging themselves (53.6%), whereas 25.8% used poison to end their life in 2019. 

21. Teenage suicidal thoughts statistics from 2019 reported 19% of US students were seriously considering committing suicide.

(CDC)

Based on the, 16% of students created a plan on how to kill themselves, and 9% tried to end their life. Lesbian, gay, and bisexual students had the highest rates of suicide attempts (23%), followed by black non-Hispanic students (12%) and females (11%).

22. About 7% of children from the UK tried to kill themselves by the age of 17. 

(CLS)

Additionally, 28.2% of 17-year-old girls and 20.1% of 17-year-old boys reported that they harmed themselves in the last 12 months. That said, 10.6% of girls and 4.3% of boys aged 17 injured themselves with the intention of committing suicide. 

23. Adolescent suicide statistics show that suicide is the 3rd most common cause of death globally for youth between the ages of 15–24.

(Stanford Children’s Health)

Data reported by the CDC reveals teenage boys are four times more likely to commit suicide than teenage girls, whilst girls are more likely to attempt suicide. Also, the reports claim that firearms are the most common means of committing suicide among youth. 

Experts blame stressful teen years, body changes during puberty, changes in behavior and thought, as well as changes in feelings. Also, a teen may feel unbearable peer-pressure.

24. Teen suicide statistics indicate that suicide attempts are highest among American Indian students.

(AFSP)

25.5% of Alaska Native (American Indian) students attempted to commit suicide in 2019, compared to 7.9% of white students. This ethnic group also has the highest suicide rate — 2.5 higher than the youth national average. 

25. Teens belonging to the LGBTQ community are overall more likely to attempt suicide than heterosexuals of the same age, teen suicide facts indicate.

(America’s Health Rankings)

High school students who identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer are more likely to have suicidal thoughts and act on their thoughts compared to their heterosexual classmates. 

Social isolation, bullying, and physical (or sexual) abuse may put teens at risk of attempting suicide and successfully committing the act.

26. Adolescent suicidal behavior statistics suggest that 4 out of 5 teenagers give warning signs. 

(Jason Foundation)

Many suicidal individuals give warning signs before attempting to end their lives. Some are in the form of words or suicide threats, and some can be observed in their sudden changes in behavior and personality. 

Other warning signs include lack of hygiene, changes in sleeping and eating habits, aggressiveness, lack of interest, previous suicide attempts, etc. 

Depression and Suicide Statistics

What is the link between depression and suicide?

27. 1 in 15 American adults suffers from depression.

(Psychiatry)

Studies have shown that depression and suicide are closely linked; the numbers on the prevalence of suicide are shocking, to say the least. Based on the findings, 49% of people aged 18–24 reported struggling with depression and 14% try to commit suicide. 

28. The leading cause of suicidal death is depression, causing over one-half of suicide deaths.  

(Medscape) (Statista)

The most prevalent risk factor of suicide is depression, particularly untreated depressive disorders. Looking at the stats, individuals who don’t receive treatment for depression are at a higher risk of committing suicide. Moreover, stats on suicide plans and thoughts among American adults from 2019 showed that 32.1% of participants with a major depressive episode were seriously contemplating suicide in the previous year.

29. 60% of children and teenagers who have depression don’t receive therapy, which possibly contributes to teenage suicide statistics.

(Verywell Mind)

Based on data, people suffering from depression do not get the correct care they need to beat this disorder. On that note, stats report that only 19% of children who struggle with depression received a healthcare professional’s treatment.

The most common treatments for this illness include psychotherapy, interpersonal therapy, CBT, psychodynamic therapy, and problem-solving therapy.

30. 2%–6% of people who have been diagnosed with depression commit suicide. 

(Skyland Trail

On the other hand, the risk of committing suicide is higher among individuals that have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder (4%-19%) and schizophrenia (10%-13%). While we’re on that topic, suicide can be associated with other psychiatric symptoms like high impulsivity and auditory hallucinations.

Obscure Suicide Facts and Stats

Here are some of the less-known statistics and facts you should know about suicide.

31. In 2019, 2,655 people in Belgium were legally euthanized,  assisted suicide statistics reveal.

(Statista) (Euronews)

Euthanasia became legal in Belgium in 2002, and since then, more than 22,000 people have been euthanized. 

When it comes to Europe, assisted dying is legal in Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Germany. Countries like Switzerland, Finland, Norway, and Austria allow passive euthanasia, but only under specific conditions. Passive euthanasia enables patients to choose not to partake in life-prolonging treatments.

32. 7,336 Canadians requested assisted suicide in 2019. 

(Canada.ca)

Based on the physicians assisted suicide statistics, there have been 13,946 deaths by this practice in Canada since it became legal in 2016. In 2019 alone, there were 7,336 requests for the assisted suicide, of which 5,631 applications were granted.  

33. Aokigahara, a forest in Japan, has become such a popular spot for committing suicide that the government stopped reporting the numbers.

(Facts.Net)

Aokigahara is not only known as a lush forest in the northwest area of Mount Fuji, but it is also one of the most popular places to commit suicide in Japan. The most common ways of committing suicide in the forest are hanging and drug overdose.

34. The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco has witnessed about 1,700 known suicides since 1937, based on the US suicide statistics.

(The Bold Italic)

The most popular spot for committing suicide in the US is probably San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. The first suicide incident happened not long after opening the bridge. The first victim was a  WWI veteran.

92% of people who jumped from the Golden Gate Bridge lived in California or the nearby area (85%), whereas 8% came from another state or country.   

35. Veteran suicide statistics indicate that 44% thought of killing themselves after joining the army.

(Statista)

The percentage of veterans who considered suicide before joining the army was much smaller in 2020, i.e., 10%, compared to 44% of veterans who thought about committing suicide after joining the military.

36. The overall suicide rates in the military grew from 20.2 deaths in 2015 to 25.9 per 100,000 in 2019.

(USNI News)

Frightening military suicide statistics show there has been an increase in the number of suicides among the Navy (from 20.7 in 2018 to 21.5 per 100,000 in 2019) and the Air Force (from 18.5 to 25.1 per 100,000). 

At the same time, there was a decrease in suicide death rates among Marines (from 30.8 to 25.3 per 100,000), while the Army rates stayed the same (29.8 per 100,000).

Suicide Statistics and Cannabis Facts

What’s the link between suicide and marijuana?

37. Can you overdose on marijuana? No, there is no way you can overdose on cannabis.

(Colorado Pot Guide) (Healthline)

Even though it is possible to experience uncomfortable symptoms from ingesting too much cannabis, such as dizziness, nausea, and vomiting, the number of people who have overdosed on marijuana equals—zero. 

Based on the information provided by the National Cancer Institute, cannabinoid receptors are different from opioid receptors and they are not present in areas in the brainstem responsible for the control of respiration—hence why marijuana overdose death cases are non-existent.

Yet, laced weed is something completely different, so make sure you always buy marijuana from licensed dispensaries.

38. Suicide attempt statistics found that cannabis wards off depression and suicide symptoms.

(HealthEuropa)

A study conducted at Washington State University found that cannabis is able to combat anxiety, stress, and depression by affecting the individual’s feelings and overall well-being. Researchers also found that a single puff of cannabis— low in THC but high in CBD—may help individuals suffering from depression.

39. Not using cannabis as a treatment for PTSD may result in higher suicidal intention rates.

(LA Weekly) (PsyPost)

A 2019 study suggests cannabis should be explored as treatment for reducing the depressive and suicidal episodes in individuals with PTSD in order to reduce suicide stats.

Another older research found cannabis is associated with an estimated 5% reduction in total suicide rates among 30 to 39-year-old men. Findings published in High on Life: Medical Marijuana Laws and Suicide suggest that the ratification of the medical marijuana law in Germany is linked to a noteworthy reduction in total suicide rates. Thus, marijuana and lower suicide rates prove to be connected.

40. Cannabis does not inspire suicidal behavior in individuals with mental health disorders.

(ScienceDaily)

A recent small study suggests US suicide statistics are not affected negatively by cannabis. It found there was no connection between cannabis intake and increased risk of suicidal behavior. In addition, having a job was also found to be an encouraging factor when battling suicide attempts.

Conclusion

Suicide has always been and still is a major issue around the world, affecting the lives of millions across the globe. Unfortunately, it is extremely difficult to detect the risk of suicide in individuals, as many successfully conceal the symptoms even from those who are closest to them. Teenage suicidal thoughts statistics are particularly worrying as well as the impact of the pandemic on all ages.

Cannabis and CBD appear to be helpful, or at least not inspiring suicidal behavior, so more research is due.

Finally, if you or someone you know shows signs of suicidal thoughts, don’t hesitate to ask for help. Stay safe and remember that you are loved.

FAQs

How many suicidal deaths happened in 2019 worldwide?

2% of the global population died of suicide in 2019. Suicide was the 10th leading cause of death that year, followed by HIV/AIDS and STDs (1%), interpersonal violence or using physical force (1%), and substance use disorders (1%). Cardiovascular diseases were and are still the leading cause of death worldwide. 

In fact, 32% of deaths were related to cardiovascular diseases as of 2019, followed by cancer (24%) and neurological disorders, like Alzheimer’s disease (9%).

How many people kill themselves a year?

About 800,000 people worldwide, or 1 person in every 40 seconds, dies from suicide. In the US, suicide is the 10th most common cause of death. In 2019 alone, 1.38 million Americans had a suicide attempt, and 47,511 people succeeded in their efforts.

The rates were highest among people over 85, 20.12 per 100,000, followed by people aged 45–54 (19.60), and people aged 55–64 (19.41). 

That said, the LGBTQ youth population is at a higher risk of attempting to commit suicide than the heterosexual population. 

Which country has the most suicidal deaths?

Lithuania is the country with the highest suicide rates (31.9 per 100,000) in Europe, followed by Russia (31 per 100,000) and Belarus (26.2 per 100,000). In South America, Guyana is the leader in the number of suicides (29.2 suicides per 100,000), while South Korea is the leader in Asia (26.9 per 100,000).

When it comes to the US, based on the suicide statistics, Wyoming (29.3), Alaska (28.5), and Montana (26.2) were the states with the highest suicide rates in 2019. 

List of Sources:

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