U.S. Suicide Rate Rose 4% in 2021 After Two-Year Decline

DThe National Center for Health Statistics released provisional data on September 30. They found that suicide rates increased by 4% by 2021 over 2020. This ended a 2-year downward trend. At a rate approximately 14 deaths per 100 000 people, 47 646 deaths were reported as suicides in 2021.

The largest increases were among men—especially young men. Age-adjusted suicidality rates increased by approximately 3% in 2021 for males, and by just 2% for women (although this increase was statistically not significant compared with 2020). The greatest increase among males—8%—occurred among ages 15 to 24. For people aged 15 to 24, suicide was the third-leading cause of deaths. This is in addition to the number one cause of death for those between 10 and 14 years old and 25 and 34. Research has shown that COVID-19 has made it particularly hard for young people. They are more likely to experience anxiety and depression during this crisis than adults.

Learn More: There’s a New Number to Call for Mental-Health Crises: 988

While suicides in the United States have declined over the years 1980-1990, they have been steadily increasing for the last 20 decades. Just 1% of suicide deaths in the United States were recorded in 2021, the lowest number since 1942.

Experts agree that suicide can have many causes and is not a simple matter. Though the report does not speculate about what may have contributed to increased rates in 2021, other researchers have warned that fallout from the pandemic—such as job loss, increased stress, and social isolation—could create a “perfect storm” that may contribute to an increase in suicides.

Call or text 988 if you think you, or someone close to you may be suffering from a mental-health crisis.. For emergencies dial 911 or go to a nearby hospital.

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