New Data Issued by the CDC Releases 2011 Suicide Statistics Showing Continued Rise in Suicide Rate

AFSP Urges Increased and Strategic Efforts to Address Suicide Prevention and the Trending Increase in Numbers


NEW YORK (June 24, 2014) – U.S. national suicide deaths rose slightly for the fifth year in a row from 12.1 per 100,000 in 2010 to 12.3 per 100,000 in 2011, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Data & Statistics Fatal Injury Report.  Suicide rates, for both males and females, show similarly slight increases with the male rate rising from 19.8 to 20.0 and the female rate rising from 5.0 to 5.2 (all rates per 100,000 individuals).  

“This report from the CDC reflects a reality that we know too well: suicide continues to be a national health issue,” said Christine Moutier, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.  “At AFSP we advocate for greater investment in suicide prevention research and education in schools, communities, workplaces, and families. These numbers reaffirm the need to devote further resources and time to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness and suicide so people will access interventions that have been proven to reduce suicidal ideation and behavior.”

The CDC data shows that men continue to die by suicide at a rate of roughly four times that of women.  Additionally, youth ages 15-24 increased slightly from 10.5 in 2010, to 10.9 in 2011. Adults ages 45-64 remained the same at 18.8 and older adult 85+ decreased considerably from 17.6 in 2010 to 16.9 in 2011. A promising statistic is that rates in the category of Native American/Alaskan Natives, as well as for Asian/Pacific Islanders decreased over the 2010-2011 period.  Native American/Alaskan Natives have the second highest rate of suicide among the ethnic groups tracked by the CDC. 

In an effort to reduce the rate of suicide, AFSP is funding a $1 million research study looking at the question of predicting and intervening in the area of short-term risk of suicide, an understudied area of suicide risk. 

Additionally, AFSP has and continues to advocate for full funding of the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS). NVDRS collects in-depth information on the details of and circumstances surrounding a suicide, which goes beyond the basic information collected through the CDC’s National Vital Statistics Reports/Fatal Injury Report. Fully implementing the NVDRS nationwide is essential to developing, informing and evaluating suicide prevention programs.

The CDC collects data about mortality in the U.S., including deaths by suicide. While the latest CDC reports show a continued rise in the suicide rate through 2011, it’s important to note that the data for 2012 and 2013 have not yet been released making it difficult to identify the most current trends. 

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The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP, is the leading national not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide through research, education and advocacy, and to reaching out to people with mental disorders and those impacted by suicide. To fully achieve its mission, AFSP engages in the following Five Core Strategies: Funds scientific research; Offers educational programs for professionals; Educates the public about mood disorders and suicide prevention; Promotes policies and legislation that impact suicide and prevention; Provides programs and resources for survivors of suicide loss and people at risk, and involves them in the work of the Foundation. Led by CEO Robert Gebbia and headquartered in New York, AFSP has 65 local chapters with events nationwide. Review the Annual Report to learn more about AFSP’s life-saving work. Join the national conversation on suicide by following AFSP on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.