2022 Shockingly Became the Deadliest Year for Suicides in USA’s History

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The United States is grappling with a concerning surge in suicides, as new provisional federal data reveals a record high in 2022. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics reported that an estimated 49,449 people died by suicide in 2022, marking a 3% increase from the 48,183 deaths in 2021.

The suicide rate also rose by 1% to 14.3 deaths per 100,000 in 2022, surpassing the 2021 rate of 14.1 per 100,000 and representing the highest rate since 1941. The authors of the report anticipate that the final data for 2022 may show a higher number of suicides as additional death certificates with pending causes of death are categorized.

When examining gender-specific data, the suicide rate for males increased by 1% in 2022, reaching 23.1 per 100,000 compared to 22.8 in 2021. For females, the rate rose by 4%, reaching 5.9 per 100,000 compared to 5.7 in 2021. Among males, suicide rates declined for those aged 34 and younger but increased for those 35 and older. For females, rates fell for those aged 24 and younger and rose for those 25 and older.

Despite a greater percentage increase for females, the provisional number of suicides for males in 2022 was significantly higher, with 39,255 compared to 10,194 for females. Age-wise, suicide rates for those under 34 decreased while rates for those 35 and older increased. The highest suicide rate was observed in individuals aged 75 and older, while the lowest rate was for those aged 10 to 14.

Disparities also emerged in suicide rates based on race/ethnicity. American Indians/Alaska Natives had the highest rate at 26.7 deaths per 100,000, experiencing a 5% decline from 2021. Other race/ethnic groups saw a 1% to 3% increase in suicide rates, though none of these changes were statistically significant.

Suicides have been on a steady rise throughout the 21st century, prompting U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy to issue a call to action in 2021 for a national strategy on suicide prevention. The federal government launched the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline in 2021 to provide free, confidential emotional support 24/7.

If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, contact the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 for immediate, confidential assistance.

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