Record Number of Suicides in the U.S. in 2020, with Men Accounting for Majority of Fatalities
According to government data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicides in the United States reached a recor...
Record High Suicides in the United States
According to government data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicides in the United States reached a record high of 49,500 last year. This marks a 3% increase from the previous year, with more than 1,000 additional deaths. The suicide rate is now higher than it has been since the start of World War II.
Increase in Suicides and Gender Disparities
According to provisional data based on U.S. death certificates, the number of suicides increased in 2022 compared to the previous year. Men accounted for a significantly higher number of suicides, nearly four times more than women. In 2022, 39,255 men took their own lives, while 10,194 women did the same. These figures represent a slight increase from 2021 when suicides rose by 4%, with 38,358 men and 9,825 women taking their own lives. It is important to note that the data is provisional and subject to slight changes before it is finalized.
High Suicide Rate Among White Men
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), white men have the highest suicide rate among male racial groups, with approximately 50 suicides per 100,000 men. This highlights an ongoing crisis of male suicidality that has been recognized for years. Academics suggest that risk factors for men include loneliness, social alienation, and a weakened sense of meaning or purpose in life. These factors can be influenced by difficult events such as job loss or the breakdown of a man's nuclear family, such as through divorce.
Suicide Rates by Race and Age Group
According to recent data, white people accounted for approximately 75% of all suicides in the United States last year, with over 37,000 deaths. This percentage aligns with the fact that white Americans make up around 75% of the country's population, as per the most recent U.S. Census data. However, it is important to note that Native Americans have historically had the highest suicide rate, with approximately 28 deaths per 100,000 people, based on older data from 2021. Following Native Americans, white people had the next highest suicide rate, with around 17 deaths per 100,000 people.
According to recent data, there has been a significant increase in suicides among older adults aged 45 to 64, with nearly 1,000 more suicides reported last year. The total number of deaths in this age group reached over 15,000. However, when comparing different age groups, men aged 75 and older had the highest suicide rate, with 42 suicides per 100,000 men. On a positive note, youth suicides decreased by more than 8% last year, but still accounted for around 6,500 suicides among individuals aged 10 to 24.
Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the mental health of children and young adults, leading to an increase in suicide rates. The closure of schools and the resulting isolation and difficulties with remote learning have contributed to this rise. While historically, male youths have been more likely to die by suicide, teenage girls have shown higher rates of suicide attempts. In 2021, around one-third of high school girls in the United States reported seriously considering suicide, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It is worth noting that the early 2010s saw a spike in rates of depression, anxiety, and self-harm among teenage girls, coinciding with the widespread use of social media.
Suicide as a Significant Cause of Death
According to the CDC, suicide continues to be a significant cause of death in the United States. The number of suicides has been increasing since the early 2000s, with a slight decrease in 2019. However, the trend reversed in 2021, with suicides spiking again, likely due to the challenges posed by the ongoing pandemic.
Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Drug Addiction and Homelessness
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increase in drug addiction and homelessness in certain areas. In the United States, approximately 106,700 people died from drug overdoses in 2021, as reported by the CDC. Additionally, major cities like New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco have seen a rise in homelessness since the start of the pandemic.