Saturday 12 August 2023

Suicides Hit Record High Last Year In U.S., Men Are Vast Majority Of Deaths

 Suicides climbed to a record 49,500 last year, putting the suicide rate higher than it has been since the beginning of World War II, according to government data released Thursday.

Suicide deaths rose 3% in 2022, jumping by more than 1,000 deaths, the new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show.

The provisional data is based on U.S. death certificates and is almost complete, although it could change slightly before it is finalized.

Men took their own lives nearly four times as much as women.

A total of 39,255 men committed suicide last year, compared to 10,194 women. Both numbers are higher than in 2021, when suicides spiked 4% and a total of 38,358 men and 9,825 women took their own lives.

White men have the highest suicide rate among male racial groups with about 50 suicides per 100,000 men, the CDC said.

Male suicidality has been a known crisis for years. Risk factors for men can be loneliness, social alienation, or a weakened sense of meaning or purpose in life, which can result from difficult events like losing a job or the dissolution of a man’s nuclear family, such as through divorce, according to academics.

White people made up about 75% of all suicides last year, with more than 37,000 deaths. White Americans are also about 75% of the population, according to last year’s U.S. Census data.


However, Native Americans tend to have the highest suicide rate with about 28 deaths per 100,000 people, according to older data from 2021. White people had the next highest rate with 17 deaths per 100,000 people.

Older adults ages 45 to 64 had the highest jump in suicides last year, with nearly 1,000 more suicides for a total of more than 15,000 deaths. However, men 75 and older have the highest rate compared to other age groups, 42 suicides per 100,000 men.

In a rare bright spot, youth suicides were down more than 8% last year, but they still amounted to about 6,500 suicides of children and young adults ages 10 to 24.

During the pandemic, the suicide rate among children and young adults increased as schools closed and kids were stuck at home, many struggling with remote learning and not being able to see their friends.

Historically, male youths are more likely to die by suicide, while teen girls tend to attempt suicide more often, with about a third of high school girls in the U.S. saying they seriously considered suicide in 2021, according to CDC data. Notably, teen girls’ rates of depression, anxiety, and self-harm spiked in the early 2010s just as social media use was becoming ubiquitous.

Suicide remains one of the leading causes of death in the U.S., according to the CDC.

Suicides rose every year starting in the early 2000s until 2019, when they dipped slightly before spiking again in 2021 as people struggled with the ongoing pandemic.

Drug addiction and homelessness have also spiked in certain places since COVID. Nearly 106,700 people died from drug overdoses in the U.S. in 2021, according to CDC data. Homelessness has spiked in many major cities like New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco since the pandemic began.

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