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Death rate from suicide in the U.S. by gender and age 2017

In 2017, there were around 31 deaths from suicide per 100,000 population among males in the U.S. aged 65 years and older. Males aged 65 years and older were more likely to die from suicide than any other age group for both males and females. The suicide death rate for males in general is constantly greater than that for females.

Suicide method by gender

Not only do suicide rates differ by gender, but the method of suicide varies as well. Suicide by firearm accounts for 56 percent of suicides among males, but only 31 percent of those among females. However, suicide by poisoning accounts for a much larger share of suicides among females than males. In 2017, there were a total of 23,854 firearm suicides and 6,554 poisoning suicides.

Substance abuse, mental health and suicide

Those who suffer from substance abuse and certain mental health disorders are at a much greater risk of falling victim to suicide. It’s been found that around 16 percent of those with drug or alcohol dependence or abuse had serious thoughts of suicide in the past year, compared to just 3 percent of those with no such substance dependence of abuse. Similarly, around 4.6 percent of those with a major depressive episode in the past year had attempted suicide, while only 0.3 percent of those without a major depressive episode had done so.

Deaths per 100,000 resident population by suicide in the U.S. in 2017, by gender and age*

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Release date

October 2019


United States

Survey time period


Age group

15 years and older

Supplementary notes

* Underlying cause of death was coded according to the 6th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) in 1950, 7th Revision in 1960, 8th Revision in 1970, and 9th Revision in 1980-1998. Starting with 1999 data, cause of death is coded according to ICD-10.
All rates are age-adjusted. Age-adjusted rates are calculated using the year 2000 standard population. Prior to 2003, age-adjusted rates were calculated using standard million proportions based on rounded population numbers. Starting with 2003 data, unrounded population numbers are used to calculate age-adjusted rates.

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Statistics on "Suicide"

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