STATCAST - Week of June 17, 2019

NCHS Health E-Stat Looks at Suicide Rates for Females and Males by Race and Ethnicity in the United States for 1999 and 2017


The suicide rate in America is the highest it’s been since 1942, or shortly after the United States became involved in World War II. NCHS has been tracking these and other vital statistics going back to the very early part of the 20th century. This week, NCHS has released a short analysis on suicide rates among males and females by race and ethnicity, comparing the most recent year of final data, 2017, with data from 1999.

NCHS researchers concluded that suicide rates have increased among all race and ethnic groups except Asian/Pacific Islanders who were not Hispanic. The largest increase has occurred among non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaskan Natives, a group which saw a 71% increase in suicide rates among males over this period and a 139% increase among females.

Studies have shown, however, that deaths for Hispanics as well as non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaskan Natives and Asian/Pacific Islanders are sometimes misclassified to other race/ethnic groups, resulting in an underestimation of deaths by about 3% for Hispanics and for non-Hispanic Asian/Pacific Islanders, and about 33% for non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaskan Natives. This underestimation may also occur for suicides. However, even so American Indian/Alaskan Natives had the highest suicide rates among all people ages 15-44 in 2017.


Page last reviewed: June 19, 2019