Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to page options Skip directly to site content

Suicide Rates by Major Occupational Group — 17 States, 2012 and 2015


Article Metrics

Altmetric:

Citations:

Views: Views equals page views plus PDF downloads

Metric Details
MMWR Email Subscription Button

 

Cora Peterson, PhD1; Deborah M. Stone, ScD2; Suzanne M. Marsh, MPA3; Pamela K. Schumacher4; Hope M. Tiesman, PhD3; Wendy LiKamWa McIntosh, MPH2; Colby N. Lokey, MS2; Aimée-Rika T. Trudeau, MPH2; Brad Bartholow, PhD2; Feijun Luo, PhD1 (View author affiliations)

View suggested citation

Summary

What is already known about this topic?

From 2000 to 2016, the U.S. suicide rate among working aged (16–64 years) adults increased 34% from 12.9 per 100,000 population to 17.3.

What is added by this report?

2012 and 2015 National Violent Death Reporting System data from 17 states indicated the major occupational group with the highest male suicide rate was Construction and Extraction (43.6 [2012] and 53.2 [2015]). The Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media major occupation group had the highest female suicide rate in 2012 (11.7) and 2015 (15.6).

What are the implications for public health practice?

A comprehensive approach to suicide prevention, including workplace-based approaches, is needed. CDC’s technical package of strategies to prevent suicide is a resource for communities and workplaces to identify prevention strategies with the best available evidence.

During 2000–2016, the suicide rate among the U.S. working age population (persons aged 16–64 years) increased 34%, from 12.9 per 100,000 population to 17.3 (https://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars). To better understand suicide among different occupational groups and inform suicide prevention efforts, CDC analyzed suicide deaths by Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) major groups for decedents aged 16–64 years from the 17 states participating in both the 2012 and 2015 National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) (https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/nvdrs). The occupational group with the highest male suicide rate in 2012 and 2015 was Construction and Extraction (43.6 and 53.2 per 100,000 civilian noninstitutionalized working persons, respectively), whereas the group with the highest female suicide rate was Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media (11.7 [2012] and 15.6 [2015]). The largest suicide rate increase among males from 2012 to 2015 (47%) occurred in the Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media occupational group (26.9 to 39.7) and among females, in the Food Preparation and Serving Related group, from 6.1 to 9.4 (54%). CDC’s technical package of strategies to prevent suicide is a resource for communities, including workplace settings (1).

NVDRS combines data on all violent deaths (defined as those resulting from the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or a group or community), including suicide, based on death certificates, coroner/medical examiner reports, and law enforcement reports. Data on usual lifetime occupation among 22,053 suicide decedents aged 16–64 years from the 17 states* that participated in NVDRS in 2012 and 2015 were analyzed. CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Industry and Occupation Computerized Coding System (NIOCCS 3.0) (https://wwwn.cdc.gov/nioccs3) was used to assign 2010 U.S. Census civilian occupation and industry codes to NVDRS decedent records based on decedents’ usual lifetime occupation and industry as reported on the death certificate. Results are reported by 2010 SOC major groups, converted from U.S. Census codes by NIOCCS. Records that could not be coded by NIOCCS were manually coded using the NIOCCS computer-assisted feature. All coding assignments were reviewed by industry and occupation coding experts for accuracy.

Suicide counts are presented by year, sex, and usual lifetime occupational group. Suicide rates were calculated using annual civilian noninstitutionalized working population counts by occupational group (based on longest job held during the previous calendar year) from the Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement (2) as the denominator; 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using the National Center for Health Statistics method for death rates (3). The rate change from 2012 to 2015 is presented for each occupational group by sex, as is each group’s rank for rate change (i.e., where rank position 1 signifies the greatest suicide rate increase). Decedents whose NVDRS data from coroner/medical examiner reports or law enforcement reports indicated that the decedent was not employed at the time of death (unemployed, disabled, incarcerated, homemaker, or student) were excluded from rate calculations, as were decedents with military or unpaid occupations, and those with insufficient information to classify occupation. Separate analyses of suicide deaths among males in agriculture-related SOC detailed groups were conducted; such rates were not calculated for female decedents because of small numbers.

NIOCCS classified 83% (8,858 in 2012 and 9,508 in 2015) of decedent records (Table 1); this count includes those that the NIOCCS program determined to have insufficient information to classify occupation. After expert review of NIOCCS automated code assignments, 231 (3%) of 2012 records and 290 (3%) of 2015 records were recoded. The remaining 1,799 (2012) and 1,888 (2015) (17% for both years) records were coded using the NIOCCS computer-assisted feature. For 2012 and 2015 combined, 5,089 (23%) decedents were not included in suicide rate calculations because they were in the military, had unpaid occupations (e.g., did not work, homemaker, or student), or had insufficient information to classify lifetime occupation. Another 2,236 (10%) were excluded because they were not employed at the time of death.

In both 2012 and 2015, the largest percentage of male suicides (19%–20% of decedents) occurred among those in the Construction and Extraction group (SOC 47) (Table 2); the largest percentage of female suicides in both years occurred among decedents with unpaid occupations (29%). The largest percentage of female suicides among classifiable occupations occurred in the Office and Administrative Support group (SOC 43) in both years (15%). In both years, the highest suicide rates among males were in the Construction and Extraction group (43.6 in 2012 and 53.2 in 2015 per 100,000 civilian noninstitutionalized working persons) (Table 3). Among females, the highest suicide rates in both years were in the Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media group (SOC 27) (11.7 in 2012 and 15.6 in 2015). Among males, the largest suicide rate increase from 2012 to 2015 (47%) occurred in the Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media group (from 26.9 to 39.7), and among females (54%) in the Food Preparation and Serving Related group (SOC 35) (from 6.1 to 9.4). Rate changes among females in six SOC major groups were not reported because of small numbers (≤20 decedents in one or both years).

The 2012 and 2015 male suicide rates among Farmers, Ranchers, and Other Agricultural Managers (SOC 11–9013, a subgroup of the SOC 11 Management major group) were 44.9 (CI = 34.2–57.9) and 32.2 (CI = 24.2–42.0) per 100,000, based on 59 and 54 suicides in 2012 and 2015, respectively. The 2012 and 2015 male suicide rates for Agricultural Workers (SOC 45–2000, a subgroup of the SOC 45 Farming, Fishing, and Forestry major group) were 20.4 (CI = 13.8–29.1) and 17.3 (CI = 12.1–23.9), based on 30 and 36 suicides in 2012 and 2015, respectively.

Discussion

Suicide rates varied widely across occupational groups in both 2012 and 2015, and rates among males and females increased in many occupational groups. The etiology of suicide is multifactorial, and identifying the specific role that occupational factors might play in suicide risk is complicated; both work (e.g., little job control or job insecurity) and nonwork (e.g., relationship conflict) factors are associated with psychological distress and suicide (4). The relationship between occupation and suicide might be confounded by access to lethal means on the job and socioeconomic factors such as lower income and education (5,6). Previous studies have employed a range of methodologies to study the proposed association between suicide and occupation and, at times, have arrived at different conclusions. For example, although this analysis aligns with another that found high suicide rates among construction workers in Colorado (7), a meta-analysis using an international occupational classification system found persons in other less-skilled occupations, such as laborers and cleaners, to be at higher risk (6).

A better understanding of how suicides are distributed by occupational group might help inform prevention programs and policies. Because many adults spend a substantial amount of their time at work, the workplace is an important but underutilized location for suicide prevention (8). Workplaces could potentially benefit from suicide prevention activities. Additional and tailored prevention approaches might be necessary to support workers at higher risk. Workplace suicide prevention efforts to date have focused primarily on early detection and tertiary intervention through the training of persons (i.e. gatekeepers) to identify those at risk for suicide and refer them to supporting services. However, more research on the role of the workplace in primary suicide prevention is needed, including improving working conditions and reducing stress (8).

The findings in this report are subject to at least four limitations. First, because of the nature of the data that were available, and consistent with previous research methods, this report compared decedents’ usual lifetime occupation as recorded on the death certificate with occupations of the employed population to calculate suicide rates. Additional data from coroner/medical examiner and law enforcement reports were used to exclude decedents identified as not in the labor force at time of death. Separate analyses indicated that if no such exclusion were applied, suicide rates would have been higher for all groups, although the top and bottom eight ranked occupational groups in 2015 by male suicide rate would maintain the same rank position, as would the top three and bottom four occupational groups by female suicide rate. Second, this report did not address confounding factors that might account for higher or lower rates of suicide between and within occupational groups, including education and income (9,10). Within SOC major occupational groups, employee education and income might vary widely. For example, the Management SOC major group includes farmers, ranchers, and chief executives of large companies, and the Construction and Extraction group includes both employees who might be salaried (e.g., supervisors) and those who might be paid hourly wages (e.g., roofer helpers). Future research might benefit from using more narrowly defined occupational groups and controlling for education and income to refine understanding of the relationship between occupation and suicide. Third, industry and occupation data obtained from death certificates rely on the accuracy and completeness of employment information provided by decedents’ family members. It is also possible that completeness and accuracy of that information might be associated with decedents’ job history. For example, categorization based on single lifetime industry and occupation might not accurately reflect employment for those persons with multiple lifetime occupations and those who worked across industries. Finally, this report is based on data from 17 U.S. states that participated in NVDRS in 2012 and 2015, and the data are not nationally representative.

To address the multifactorial etiology of suicide, CDC recommends a comprehensive approach to prevention (1). Strategies might include enhancing social connectedness and expanding access to relevant resources, strengthening state or local economic supports, implementing practices that encourage help-seeking and decrease stigma, and providing referrals to mental health and other services (1). Strategies can be implemented to assure support and reduce access to lethal means among persons at risk. Decision makers, including employers, can create a response plan, should a suicide affect their organization. Surviving family and friends can be supported to reduce their own suicide risk. The media can follow reporting recommendations to avoid sensationalized reporting and can refrain from providing details on suicide methods (1). Further workplace prevention resources are available at https://theactionalliance.org/, and help is available at 1-800-273-TALK.

Acknowledgments

Jeff Purdin, Matt Hirst, Susan Burton, Jenny Huddleston, Elizabeth Smith, Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations, and Field Studies, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, CDC.

Corresponding author: Deborah M. Stone, dstone3@cdc.gov, 770-488-3942.


1Division of Analysis, Research, and Practice Integration, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, CDC; 2Division of Violence Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, CDC; 3Division of Safety Research, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, CDC; 4Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations, and Field Studies, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, CDC.

All authors have completed and submitted the ICMJE form for disclosure of potential conflicts of interest. No potential conflicts of interest were disclosed.


* Alaska, Colorado, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

References

  1. Stone DM, Holland K, Bartholow B, Crosby A, Davis S, Wilkins N. Preventing suicide: a technical package of policies, programs, and practices. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2017. https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/suicideTechnicalPackage.pdf
  2. US Census Bureau. Current population survey annual social and economic supplement 2013 and 2016. Washington, DC: US Census Bureau; 2018.
  3. National Center for Health Statistics. Vital statistics of the United States: mortality, 1999 technical appendix. Hyattsville, MD: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC, National Center for Health Statistics; 2004. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/statab/techap99.pdf
  4. Milner A, Witt K, LaMontagne AD, Niedhammer I. Psychosocial job stressors and suicidality: a meta-analysis and systematic review. Occup Environ Med 2018;75:245–53. CrossRef PubMed
  5. Milner A, Witt K, Maheen H, LaMontagne AD. Access to means of suicide, occupation and the risk of suicide: a national study over 12 years of coronial data. BMC Psychiatry 2017;17:125. CrossRef PubMed
  6. Milner A, Spittal MJ, Pirkis J, LaMontagne AD. Suicide by occupation: systematic review and meta-analysis. Br J Psychiatry 2013;203:409–16. CrossRef PubMed
  7. Stallones L, Doenges T, Dik BJ, Valley MA. Occupation and suicide: Colorado, 2004-2006. Am J Ind Med 2013;56:1290–5. PubMed
  8. Milner A, Page K, Spencer-Thomas S, Lamotagne AD. Workplace suicide prevention: a systematic review of published and unpublished activities. Health Promot Int 2015;30:29–37. CrossRef PubMed
  9. Daly MC, Wilson DJ, Johnson NJ. Relative status and well-being: evidence from U.S. suicide deaths. Rev Econ Stat 2013;95:1480–500. CrossRef
  10. Phillips JA, Hempstead K. Differences in U.S. suicide rates by educational attainment, 2000–2014. Am J Prev Med 2017;53:e123–30. CrossRef PubMed
TABLE 1. Procedure for Identification of analysis cohort of suicide decedents, by occupation — National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) — 17 U.S. states* 2012 and 2015Return to your place in the text
Analytic procedure 2012 no. 2015 no.
Suicide decedents obtained from NVDRS data set 12,811 13,967
Excluded before assignment of occupation code
Aged <16 years or >64 years or missing sex 2,154 2,571
Assignment of occupation code
Assigned based on decedent usual lifetime occupation 10,657 11,396
Autocoded by NIOCCS 8,858 9,508
Manually reassigned using the NIOCCS computer-assisted feature 231 290
Manually assigned using the NIOCCS computer-assisted feature 1,799 1,888
Rate analysis
Decedents presumed to be in the labor force at time of death§ 6,881 7,847

Abbreviation: NIOCCS = National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Industry and Occupation Computerized Coding System.
*Alaska, Colorado, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
The total number of deaths (including suicides) reported in the NVDRS data set (June 2018) for the 17 U.S. states analyzed included 19,885 decedents in 2012 and 21,884 decedents in 2015.
§ Decedents were not included in suicide rate calculations if they were in the military, had unpaid occupations (e.g., did not work, homemaker, or student), or had insufficient information to classify lifetime occupation. In addition, suicide decedents whose NVDRS data from coroner/medical examiner or law enforcement reports indicated no employment (e.g., retired, unemployed, disabled, incarcerated, home maker, or student) at the time of death were also excluded from rate analysis. Decedents were excluded if NVDRS current occupation information contained any of the following: “student, unemp*, not empl*, laid off, retir*, disab*, incarcer*, inmate, prisoner, homemaker, home maker, housewife, house wife, never worked, or not working.” Manual review of records excluded based on these criteria resulted in five records being reinstated (e.g., “student teacher” and two occupations listed for a decedent with just one occupation explicitly identified as retired).

TABLE 2. Number and percentage of suicide decedents* in Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) major group, by year and sex — National Violent Death Reporting System, 17 states, 2012 and 2015Return to your place in the text
SOC code Occupational group Male Female
2012 no. (%) 2015 no. (%) 2012 no. (%) 2015 no. (%)
11 Management 534 (8) 611 (9) 117 (7) 118 (7)
13 Business and Financial Operations 155 (2) 145 (2) 81 (5) 84 (5)
15 Computer and Mathematical 208 (3) 237 (3) 22 (1) 32 (2)
17 Architecture and Engineering 172 (3) 167 (2) 10 (1) 15 (1)
19 Life, Physical, and Social Science 56 (1) 52 (1) 15 (1) 21 (1)
21 Community and Social Service 41 (1) 48 (1) 39 (2) 40 (2)
23 Legal 54 (1) 49 (1) 34 (2) 29 (2)
25 Education, Training, and Library 91 (1) 87 (1) 82 (5) 84 (5)
27 Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media 140 (2) 186 (3) 54 (3) 76 (4)
29 Health Care Practitioners and Technical occupations 145 (2) 169 (2) 220 (14) 225 (12)
31 Health Care Support 35 (1) 34 (<1) 97 (6) 124 (7)
33 Protective Service 232 (4) 226 (3) 29 (2) 32 (2)
35 Food Preparation and Serving Related 214 (3) 301 (4) 112 (7) 154 (9)
37 Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance 316 (5) 315 (4) 36 (2) 46 (3)
39 Personal Care and Service 81 (1) 85 (1) 98 (6) 102 (6)
41 Sales and Related 555 (9) 553 (8) 170 (11) 212 (12)
43 Office and Administrative Support 244 (4) 260 (4) 234 (15) 268 (15)
45 Farming, Fishing, and Forestry 68 (1) 71 (1) 7 (<1) 5 (<1)
47 Construction and Extraction 1,216 (19) 1,404 (20) 12 (1) 17 (1)
49 Installation, Maintenance, and Repair 549 (9) 621 (9) 8 (1) NR
51 Production 605 (9) 679 (10) 64 (4) 81 (4)
53 Transportation and Material Moving 736 (11) 817 (11) 52 (3) 39 (2)
NA Military 228 (3) 203 (2) 15 (1) 13 (<1)
NA Unpaid 822 (10) 913 (11) 724 (29) 795 (29)
NA Insufficient Information to Classify Occupation 651 (8) 425 (5) 177 (9) 123 (4)

Abbreviations: NA = not assigned; NR = not reported due to cell size <5.
* Aged 16–64 years.
Alaska, Colorado, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

TABLE 3. Suicide rate per 100,000 civilian, noninstitutionalized working persons aged 16–64 years, by sex, based on suicide decedents (N = 14,728) presumed in the labor force at time of death using Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) major groups — National Violent Death Reporting System, 17 states,* 2012 and 2015Return to your place in the text
Males Females
SOC code Occupational group 2012 2015 Rate change SOC code Occupational group 2012 2015 Rate change
% Rank % Rank
47 Construction and Extraction 27 Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media
Rate rank§ 1 1 +22% 5 Rate rank§ 1 1 +34% 2
Rate per 100,000 43.6 53.2 Rate per 100,000 11.7 15.6
95% CI 40.9–46.3 50.2–56.1 95% CI 8.6–15.5 12.1–19.8
Suicide decedents, no. 1,009 1,248 Suicide decedents, no. 47 67
Population, no. 2,313,934 2,345,952 Population, no. 403,305 429,424
27 Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media 33 Protective Service
Rate rank 7 2 +47% 1 Rate rank 2 2 +5% 9
Rate per 100,000 26.9 39.7 Rate per 100,000 11.6 12.2
95% CI 22.1–31.8 33.6–45.8 95% CI 7.5–17.1 8.1–17.7
Suicide decedents, no. 117 162 Suicide decedents, no. 25 28
Population, no. 434,177 408,113 Population, no. 215,345 228,862
49 Installation, Maintenance, and Repair 31 Health Care Support
Rate rank 2 3 +24% 3 Rate rank 5 3 +31% 3
Rate per 100,000 31.6 39.1 Rate per 100,000 8.4 11.0
95% CI 28.7–34.4 35.8–42.3 95% CI 6.7–10.4 8.9–13.0
Suicide decedents, no. 473 542 Suicide decedents, no. 83 108
Population, no. 1,498,263 1,387,681 Population, no. 993,407 984,369
53 Transportation and Material Moving 35 Food Preparation and Serving Related
Rate rank 4 4 +9% 8 Rate rank 11 4 +54% 1
Rate per 100,000 28.4 30.9 Rate per 100,000 6.1 9.4
95% CI 26.2–30.7 28.6–33.1 95% CI 4.9–7.5 7.8–11.0
Suicide decedents, no. 615 721 Suicide decedents, no. 94 139
Population, no. 2,164,530 2,336,133 Population, no. 1,539,199 1,479,822
51 Production 23 Legal
Rate rank 3 5 +7% 10 Rate rank 3 5 −17% 15
Rate per 100,000 28.4 30.5 Rate per 100,000 11.1 9.2
95% CI 26.0–30.9 28.1–33.0 95% CI 7.5–15.9 5.8–13.9
Suicide decedents, no. 524 607 Suicide decedents, no. 30 22
Population, no. 1,843,879 1,987,864 Population, no. 269,243 238,870
33 Protective Service 29 Health Care Practitioners and Technical
Rate rank 6 6 +4% 11 Rate rank 4 6 −13% 13
Rate per 100,000 27.1 28.2 Rate per 100,000 10.3 9.0
95% CI 23.3–30.9 24.2–32.1 95% CI 8.9–11.8 7.7–10.3
Suicide decedents, no. 198 194 Suicide decedents, no. 195 193
Population, no. 730,044 689,034 Population, no. 1,890,885 2,140,217
37 Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance 51 Production
Rate rank 5 7 −2% 14 Rate rank 7 7 +18% 6
Rate per 100,000 27.3 26.8 Rate per 100,000 7.6 9.0
95% CI 24.1–30.5 23.6–30.0 95% CI 5.8–10.0 7.0–11.3
Suicide decedents, no. 281 276 Suicide decedents, no. 55 72
Population, no. 1,028,779 1,029,385 Population, no. 719,183 800,640
29 Health Care Practitioners and Technical 39 Personal Care and Service
Rate rank 14 8 +23% 4 Rate rank 9 8 +14% 7
Rate per 100,000 20.8 25.6 Rate per 100,000 6.8 7.7
95% CI 17.1–24.6 21.5–29.8 95% CI 5.5–8.4 6.2–9.5
Suicide decedents, no. 119 145 Suicide decedents, no. 89 92
Population, no. 571,387 565,768 Population, no. 1,308,535 1,187,811
45 Farming, Fishing, and Forestry 41 Sales and Related
Rate rank 8 9 −13% 21 Rate rank 10 9 +20% 5
Rate per 100,000 26.3 22.8 Rate per 100,000 6.4 7.7
95% CI 20.0–34.0 17.7–29.0 95% CI 5.3–7.4 6.6–8.7
Suicide decedents, no. 58 67 Suicide decedents, no. 148 192
Population, no. 220,364 293,746 Population, no. 2,325,223 2,505,186
41 Sales and Related 15 Computer and Mathematical
Rate rank 11 10 +1% 12 Rate rank NR 10 NR NR
Rate per 100,000 21.3 21.5 Rate per 100,000 NR 7.3
95% CI 19.4–23.2 19.6–23.4 95% CI NR 5.0–10.5
Suicide decedents, no. 487 489 Suicide decedents, no. 20 30
Population, no. 2,282,361 2,276,666 Population, no. 390,260 408,410
35 Food Preparation and Serving Related 53 Transportation and Material Moving
Rate rank 19 11 +43% 2 Rate rank 6 11 −17% 14
Rate per 100,000 14.6 20.9 Rate per 100,000 8.3 6.9
95% CI 12.5–16.7 18.4–23.3 95% CI 6.0–11.2 4.8–9.7
Suicide decedents, no. 180 276 Suicide decedents, no. 43 33
Population, no. 1,234,381 1,321,800 Population, no. 517,082 477,143
31 Health Care Support 21 Community and Social Service
Rate rank 9 12 −12% 18 Rate rank 8 12 −17% 16
Rate per 100,000 22.1 19.5 Rate per 100,000 7.3 6.0
95% CI 14.8–31.7 12.5–29.0 95% CI 5.1–10.2 4.2–8.4
Suicide decedents, no. 29 24 Suicide decedents, no. 34 36
Population, no. 131,497 123,003 Population, no. 464,942 595,582
17 Architecture and Engineering 43 Office and Administrative Support
Rate rank 10 13 −10% 15 Rate rank 14 13 +27% 4
Rate per 100,000 21.6 19.4 Rate per 100,000 4.7 6.0
95% CI 18.1–25.1 16.3–22.6 95% CI 4.1–5.4 5.2–6.8
Suicide decedents, no. 145 147 Suicide decedents, no. 201 239
Population, no. 670,938 756,515 Population, no. 4,267,892 3,985,105
23 Legal 13 Business and Financial Operations
Rate rank 12 14 −12% 19 Rate rank 12 14 −5% 11
Rate per 100,000 21.3 18.7 Rate per 100,000 5.7 5.4
95% CI 15.7–28.2 13.4–25.4 95% CI 4.4–7.2 4.2–6.8
Suicide decedents, no. 48 41 Suicide decedents, no. 70 71
Population, no. 225,681 219,171 Population, no. 1,235,880 1,321,724
11 Management 37 Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance
Rate rank 17 15 +8% 9 Rate rank 15 15 +14% 8
Rate per 100,000 16.4 17.8 Rate per 100,000 4.6 5.2
95% CI 14.9–17.9 16.3–19.3 95% CI 3.1–6.5 3.7–7.2
Suicide decedents, no. 477 530 Suicide decedents, no. 31 36
Population, no. 2,906,468 2,981,498 Population, no. 673,483 688,809
39 Personal Care and Service 11 Management
Rate rank 13 16 −21% 22 Rate rank 13 16 −12% 12
Rate per 100,000 20.9 16.5 Rate per 100,000 5.6 4.9
95% CI 16.2–26.4 12.9–20.7 95% CI 4.5–6.7 4.0–5.9
Suicide decedents, no. 68 73 Suicide decedents, no. 104 103
Population, no. 326,037 443,543 Population, no. 1,855,055 2,083,968
15 Computer and Mathematical 25 Education, Training, and Library
Rate rank 15 17 −11% 16 Rate rank 16 17 +3% 10
Rate per 100,000 18.1 16.1 Rate per 100,000 3.3 3.4
95% CI 15.5–20.8 13.9–18.4 95% CI 2.6–4.2 2.7–4.2
Suicide decedents, no. 179 202 Suicide decedents, no. 69 74
Population, no. 986,994 1,252,275 Population, no. 2,091,706 2,186,483
43 Office and Administrative Support 17 Architecture and Engineering
Rate rank 20 18 +12% 7 Rate rank NR NR NR NR
Rate per 100,000 14.1 15.8 Rate per 100,000 NR NR
95% CI 12.2–16.1 13.7–17.9 95% CI NR NR
Suicide decedents, no. 206 223 Suicide decedents, no. 10 12
Population, no. 1,456,242 1,411,453 Population, no. 135,632 144,852
19 Life, Physical, and Social Science 19 Life, Physical, and Social Science
Rate rank 16 19 −13% 20 Rate rank NR NR NR NR
Rate per 100,000 17.3 15.0 Rate per 100,000 NR NR
95% CI 12.7–23.0 11.0–20.0 95% CI NR NR
Suicide decedents, no. 47 47 Suicide decedents, no. 13 19
Population, no. 271,690 312,925 Population, no. 225,992 204,566
21 Community and Social Service 45 Farming, Fishing, and Forestry
Rate rank 21 20 +15% 6 Rate rank NR NR NR NR
Rate per 100,000 12.8 14.6 Rate per 100,000 NR NR
95% CI 8.8–17.9 10.7–19.6 95% CI NR NR
Suicide decedents, no. 33 45 Suicide decedents, no. 7 5
Population, no. 258,744 307,829 Population, no. 54,068 91,967
13 Business and Financial Operations 47 Construction and Extraction
Rate rank 18 21 −11% 17 Rate rank NR NR NR NR
Rate per 100,000 14.6 13.0 Rate per 100,000 NR NR
95% CI 12.1–17.2 10.7–15.3 95% CI NR NR
Suicide decedents, no. 125 122 Suicide decedents, no. 9 14
Population, no. 855,329 941,806 Population, no. 55,164 76,173
25 Education, Training, and Library 49 Installation, Maintenance, and Repair
Rate rank 22 22 −1% 13 Rate rank NR NR NR NR
Rate per 100,000 10.9 10.9 Rate per 100,000 NR NR
95% CI 8.6–13.6 8.6–13.5 95% CI NR NR
Suicide decedents, no. 78 79 Suicide decedents, no. 8 NR
Population, no. 713,321 727,167 Population, no. 73,231 46,136

Abbreviations: CI = confidence interval; NR = not reported; number of decedents not reported <5, and rates were not calculated for occupational groups with ≤20 decedents; SOC = Standard Occupational Classification.
* Alaska, Colorado, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Rate change rank refers to each occupational group’s rank order for rate change from 2012 to 2015, where rank position 1 signifies the greatest suicide rate increase.
§ Occupational groups were ranked by 2015 suicide rate, separately for males and females. Because of rounding, some rate and rate change results are not precisely calculable from the data presented.
95% CIs were calculated using CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics methods, including confidence limit factors for mortality rates based on <100 decedents.

Suggested citation for this article: Peterson C, Stone DM, Marsh SM, et al. Suicide Rates by Major Occupational Group — 17 States, 2012 and 2015. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2018;67:1253–1260. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6745a1.

MMWR and Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report are service marks of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Use of trade names and commercial sources is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
References to non-CDC sites on the Internet are provided as a service to MMWR readers and do not constitute or imply endorsement of these organizations or their programs by CDC or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. CDC is not responsible for the content of pages found at these sites. URL addresses listed in MMWR were current as of the date of publication.

All HTML versions of MMWR articles are generated from final proofs through an automated process. This conversion might result in character translation or format errors in the HTML version. Users are referred to the electronic PDF version (https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr) and/or the original MMWR paper copy for printable versions of official text, figures, and tables.

Questions or messages regarding errors in formatting should be addressed to mmwrq@cdc.gov.

TOP