News & Politics

U.S. Suicide Rate on the Rise

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the suicide rate in the U.S. has risen 24% over the last 15 years.

The report is unique in that it breaks down suicide by different age groups and gender, and shows that the increase in suicide is among all groups, said Sally Curtin, one of the authors of the report. The increase in suicide rate has been steady since 1999, before which there was a consistent decline since 1986, she said.

“It’s a very important report, and the results are very striking,” said Jeffrey Borenstein, president and CEO of the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation. “The rate has increased so much since 1999, especially during the second half of that period.”

A vast number of people who die from suicide are those with psychiatric conditions, including depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, said Borenstein.

It’s notable that the suicide rate is increasing faster among women than among men.

The report also says that the increase in suicide rate was higher among females (45% increase) than males (16% increase), narrowing the suicide rate gap between the two genders. But as of 2014, the suicide rate in males is still three times higher than in females.

“Females actually commit suicide more frequently than males, but males die by suicide more often. Males are choosing more lethal methods (of committing suicide) than women,” said Holland.