Why Is Suicide Rate Rising in America?


The suicide rate in the United States has been increasing since 1999 in all age groups under 75, a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has showed.

The number of suicides was 24% higher in 2014 than in 1999, according to the report, which was prepared by researchers at the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics after analyzing death certificates of people died from 1999 to 2014.

Females Suicide Rate

The suicide rate for females increased between 1999 and 2014 for all racial and ethnic groups except non-Hispanic Asian or Pacific Islanders. In 2014, the rate for non-Hispanic white females aged 45–64 was 80% higher compared with 1999. It was higher three to four times compared with females in other racial and ethnic groups.

The suicide rates also increased for non-Hispanic black and Hispanic females aged 45–64. For non-Hispanic white females aged 10–14 years, the rate in 2014 more than tripled from 1999.

Figure 1. Age-adjusted suicide rates for females, by race and Hispanic origin: United States, 1999 and 2014

Males Suicide Rate

Researcher saw a 38% increase in the suicide rates between 1999 and 2014 for non-Hispanic AIAN males. The rate increased by 28% for non-Hispanic white males during the same period.

In 2014, the suicide rate for non-Hispanic AIAN males aged 25–44 was the highest among all racial and ethnic groups and was 60% higher than in 1999, according to the report, which also shows that non-Hispanic white males had higher suicide rates in 2014 than in 1999 for all age groups under 75 years.

The suicide rate declined 8% in 2014 from 1999 for non-Hispanic black males, the only racial and ethnic group of either sex to have a lower suicide rate.

Figure 2. Age-adjusted suicide rates for males, by race and Hispanic origin: United States, 1999 and 2014

Still, it’s unclear why suicide rates increased so much among American. Experts are having mixed viewpoints, but there’s a need for a new study to look into this issue and provide suggestions to control these rates.