Suicide rates shot up in 2021 despite falling two years prior

The number of people in the United States who died by suicide increased by 4% in 2021, which came after 2 years of decline, the National Center for Health Statistics reported.

The increase in suicides was greater among males (4%) than females (2%), this was also the case with the suicide rate (+3% for males and +2% for females).

The data also reveals that in 2021, an American took their own life every 10 minutes.

The agency confirmed 47,646 people died by suicide in 2021 compared to 45,979 in 2020. Suicides in the United States had declined the two previous years. Prior to that, the national suicide rate increased 35% from 1999 to 2018 before hitting a peak of 48,344, the NCHS said. 

“Suicide is a major contributor to premature death in the United States, especially among people aged 10 [to] 34, for whom it is the second leading cause of death,” the report said.

The demographic most likely to end their lives were men over 75 years old, while young men aged 18 to 24 saw the largest increase by 8% in a single calendar year.

Experts have noted that while the increase is “disappointing’, it is nothing like the “major escalation” predicted when Covid lockdowns were put in place.

The report targeted a number of factors for the increase, stating that it was a combination of declining mental health, an increase in gun ownership rates and job losses or job dissatisfaction, the report referred to the fallout from the pandemic could lead to a “perfect storm” to further increase suicide rates.

Suicide is the 12th leading cause of death in the United States, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. 

In July, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services launched a national crisis line, along with numbers for anyone to call should they be in need of help.

The department urged anyone who was considering suicide or suffering a mental health or substance abuse crisis to call 988 for immediate counseling. They also clarified that 911 should only be used to report a physical emergency.




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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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