US Suicides Reach Record High

Rate of suicides by firearms also is at a record level
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 30, 2023 2:13 PM CST
US Suicides Reach Record High
A suicide-prevention barrier is seen along the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in St. Petersburg, Fla.   (Douglas R. Clifford/Tampa Bay Times via AP)

New federal stats show that the suicide rate in America reached its highest level on record last year, reports CNN. Nearly 50,000 people took their own lives in 2022, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, which translates to 14.3 deaths per 100,000 people, per the Wall Street Journal. That's the highest figure in stats going back to 1941. One positive trend amid the grim numbers is that suicides among young people declined to pre-pandemic numbers. For ages 10 to 14, the rate was about 2 per 100,000 people and for ages 15 to 24, it was 14 per 100,000.

White men 75 and older had the highest rate at about 44 per 100,000. Overall, men were about four times as likely as women to take their own lives, though the suicide rate for women ages 25 to 34 in particular saw a notable spike, per CNN. The New York Times notes that the rate of suicides involving guns also reached an all-time high, accounting for roughly 27,000 of 50,000 deaths. "When there are more firearms, there are more firearm suicides," says Michael Anestis, executive director of the New Jersey Gun Violence Research Center. (If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts, call the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988, or visit the 988 Lifeline website.)

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