Community Awareness Rallying to End Suicide

January 8, 2018

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention compiled and released the most current suicide data available for the United States, for calendar year 2016. Overall, the suicide rate increased by 1.8%, with nearly 45,000 reported suicides. It’s worth noting that suicides, because of stigma and variable reporting guidelines, are more often than not under-reported.


The highest rate was among middle-aged Caucasians with the second highest rate among senior citizens. Both declined slightly, but are still at the top of the list.  Youth suicides increased slightly. Maryland, at 8.76 suicides per 100,000 citizens, remains below the national average of 13.26. Neighboring states Virginia and Delaware rank above the rest of the nation.


While the data are imperfect, the study suggests that there are ten to twelve attempts for every completed suicide.


Where are overall suicide rates the highest? States like Wyoming (#1 at over 28 deaths per 100,000) and Montana (right behind at 25) are perennially high.  Other states which are rural in nature, like Utah, New Mexico, South Dakota and Oklahoma all have rates above 20.  This is predictable based on a 2016 CDCP study of suicide by occupation, which found agriculture, forestry, fishing and mining as jobs particularly susceptible to suicidality.


The CDCP estimates that the cost to the nation of suicides tops $50 billion, or about $1.1 million per suicide. Included in the figure are medical costs (for both victims and those left behind), crisis and law enforcement costs, and lost productivity. Digging deeper into the numbers would suggest that youth suicides, because the young have many more productive years ahead of them than do the retired, have a much greater negative impact on the economy.


To learn more, including state-by-state data, suicide ranking based on the means used (guns, strangulation for example) and suicide by race, visit: