Suicide is the
leading cause of death in the US
Americans died by suicide
In 2018, there were an estimated
In 2015, suicide and self-injury cost the US
- Become an advocate to help prevent suicideLearn more
Additional facts about suicide in the US
- The age-adjusted suicide rate in 2018 was 14.2 per 100,000 individuals.
- The rate of suicide is highest in middle-aged white men.
- In 2018, men died by suicide 3.56x more often than women.
- On average, there are 132 suicides per day.
- White males accounted for 69.67% of suicide deaths in 2018.
- In 2018, firearms accounted for 50.57% of all suicide deaths.
Public policy priorities
Learn more about our top Federal and State policy priorities for suicide prevention.Learn more
When it comes to suicide and suicide attempts there are rate differences depending on demographic characteristics such as age, gender, ethnicity and race. Nonetheless, suicide occurs in all demographic groups.
In the U.S., no complete count of suicide attempt data are available. The CDC gathers data from hospitals on non-fatal injuries from self-harm as well as survey data.
In 2015, (the most recent year for which data are available), approximately 575,000 people visited a hospital for injuries due to self-harm.
Based on the 2018 National Survey of Drug Use and Mental Health it is estimated that 0.5 percent of the adults aged 18 or older made at least one suicide attempt. This translates to approximately 1.4 million adults. Adult females reported a suicide attempt 1.5 times as often as males. Further breakdown by gender and race are not available.
Based on the most recent Youth Risk Behaviors Survey from 2017, 7.4 percent of youth in grades 9-12 reported that they had made at least one suicide attempt in the past 12 months. Female students attempted almost twice as often as male students (9.3% vs. 5.1%). Black students reported the highest rate of attempt (9.8%) with white students at 6.1 percent. Approximately 2.4 percent of all students reported making a suicide attempt that required treatment by a doctor or nurse. For those requiring treatment, rates were highest for Black students (3.4%).
Real stories of hope
Supporting your Mental Health While Navigating Change
By Doreen Marshall, Ph.D.
Working Toward a Common Goal: Preventing Firearm Suicides in Veterans
By Doreen Marshall, Ph.D.
COVID-19: We Must Care for Older Adults’ Mental Health
By Christine Moutier, M.D.
Learn about the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and our mission to save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide.Learn more
Become an advocate for suicide prevention
By signing up as an AFSP Field Advocate, you will become a vital part of a large grassroots movement of people across the U.S. who are speaking out for suicide prevention and mental health policies at all levels of government.Learn more
Boards, commitees and councils
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s National Board, Councils and Committees are dedicated to the fight to stop suicide.Learn more
Visit our Action Center to stay up to date on the state and federal bills that need your support.Take action