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Suicide in Rural America

Updated April 21, 2023

In the United States, suicide was responsible for nearly 46,000 deaths in 2020, which is approximately one suicide every 11 minutes. Suicide is a leading cause of death in the United States. In the past two decades, suicide rates have been consistently higher in rural America than in urban America. Between 2000-2020, suicide rates increased 46% in non-metro areas compared to 27.3% in metro areas. White non-Hispanic people have the highest suicide rates in urban areas (metropolitan counties) while non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaska Native people have the highest rates in rural areas. Moreover, rural residents have 1.5 times higher rate of emergency department visits for nonfatal self-harm than urban residents. Suicide is preventable through a comprehensive public health approach that relies on multiple strategies with the best available evidence to address the many factors associated with suicide.

What the Science Says


Policy Brief
Trends in Suicide by Urbanization

CDC MMWR Commentary

Strategies for Preventing Suicide

Suicide Prevention Resource for Action

Suicide Prevention Resources

More information from CDC