Suicide rate among young Americans up by 57%, deaths spiral by 30-60% in many states: CDC
It has gone up among persons in the 10-24 age group from 6.8 per 100,000 in 2007 to 10.7 in 2018
Youth suicide has become an increasingly prominent public health issue in the US and the numbers are rising, according to experts. The rate of death by suicide among Americans in the 10-24 age group increased by 57.4% from 2007 to 2018, after a period of stability from 2000 to 2007, reveals an analysis by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The suicide rate is the number of deaths due to suicide to persons aged 10-24 per 100,000 population aged 10-24. The current report includes rates for 2018, the latest year for which final mortality data from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) are available. The results suggest that in 2007, about seven out of every 100,000 people in the 10-24 age group died by suicide. By 2018, the rate had climbed to about 11 out of every 100,000, despite national goals to lower the suicide rate. “Nationally, the suicide rate among persons aged 10-24 was statistically stable from 2000 to 2007, and then increased 57.4%, from 6.8 per 100,000 in 2007 to 10.7 in 2018. When examining the change in rates between 3-year averages of the periods 2007-2009 (7.0) and 2016-2018 (10.3), the national percentage increase was 47.1%,” write authors.
The increase in suicide rate was broad, as it was experienced by the majority of states, explains the research team. They found that suicide rates have increased significantly in 42 states from 2007-2009 to 2016-2018. The majority of states, 32 in total, had significant increases of between 30%-60%. Further, significant increases ranged from 21.7% in Maryland (from 6.0 in 2007-2009 to 7.3 in 2016–2018) to a more than doubling of the rate in New Hampshire (from 7.0 in 2007-2009 to 14.7 in 2016–2018).
The 2016-2018 suicide rate among persons aged 10-24 was highest for Alaska (31.4 per 100,000). Other states with the highest suicide rates were South Dakota (23.6), Montana (23.2), Wyoming (20.5), and New Mexico (19.6). The lowest suicide rates were among states in the Northeast: New Jersey (5.7), Rhode Island (5.9), New York (5.9), Connecticut (6.3), and Massachusetts (6.4). “Despite having among the lowest rates, New Jersey had a 39% increase between 2007-2009 and 2016-2018, New York had an increase of 43.9%, and Massachusetts had an increase of 64.1%,” says the study.
September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month in the US. Recent research has documented increases in serious psychological distress, major depression, and suicidal thoughts and attempts among adolescents and young adults in the US. Another analysis by the CDC, for example, shows that about one in five youths in the US seriously considered attempting suicide, one in six made a suicide plan, one in 11 made an attempt, and one in 40 made a suicide attempt requiring medical treatment in 2019. While fatal (suicide) and nonfatal (for example, suicide attempts) suicidal behaviors are a public health concern across the life span, they are of particular concern for youths and young adults aged 10-24 years, conclude health experts.
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death for all ages in the US. According to a report published in April this year, the age-adjusted suicide rate increased 35%, from 10.5 per 100,000 US standard population in 1999 to 14.2 in 2018. “The age-adjusted suicide rate among females increased by 55%, from 4.0 in 1999 to 6.2 in 2018, while the rate for males increased by 28%, from 17.8 to 22.8. Suicide rates were consistently higher for males compared with females over the entire period,” the findings state.