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New Report is the First to Present State-Level Findings on Suicidal Thoughts and Behavior

Woman being comforted by friendsEvery 15 minutes, someone dies by suicide in this country. And for every person who dies, there are many more who think about, plan or attempt suicide. “Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors Among Adults >18 Years – United States, 2008-2009,” a new report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, examines that pattern among adults, 18 years and older, in the United States by state.

This report is the first to present state-level data concerning suicidal thoughts and behavior among adults in the U.S. The research supports other findings that the public health burden of suicide throughout the United States is much greater than the number of deaths.

The findings in this report document important state-specific differences in the reported prevalence of suicidal thoughts, plans, and behavior both overall and when examined by age, sex, and race/ethnicity.

Public health burden of suicidal behavior among adults aged ≥18 years — United States, 2008

Deaths, hospitalizations, and emergency room visits by adults age 18 years and older, United States, 2008

Results show:

  • The prevalence of serious suicidal thoughts, suicide planning, and suicide attempts was significantly higher among young adults aged 18–29 years than it was among adults 30 years old and older.
  • An estimated 8.3 million (annual average) adults (3.7% of the adult U.S. population) reported having serious thoughts of suicide in the past year, ranging from 2.1% in Georgia to 6.8% in Utah.
  • More than 2.2 million adults (1.0% of adults) reported making suicide plans in the past year, ranging from 0.1% in Georgia to 2.8% in Rhode Island.
  • More than 1 million adults (0.5% of adults) reported attempting suicide in the past year, ranging from 0.1% in Delaware and Georgia to 1.5% in Rhode Island.

These findings underscore the importance of prevention, including public health policies, programs and strategies that can help decrease suicide-related thoughts and behaviors.

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* Source: CDC's National Vital Statistics System.
† All rates per 100,000 population; population estimates provided by U.S. Census Bureau
§ Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project–Nationwide Inpatient Sample
¶ Source: CDC's National Electronic Injury Surveillance System–All Injury Program.

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