Teen Depression and Suicide


The national rate of suicide in the United States is 10.6 per every 100,000 people. Among teenagers, suicide is the third-most-common cause of death (behind accidents and homicide). However, this can be a little deceptive because the risk of death during the teenage years is pretty low. Following are some statistics on the risk of death of suicide by age for teenagers and young adults:
  • 1.6 per 100,000 for 10- to 14-year-olds
  • 9.5 per 100,000 for 15- to 19-year-olds (in this age group, boys are about four times as likely as girls to commit suicide, while girls are twice as likely to attempt suicide)
  • 13.6 per 100,000 for 20- to 24-year-olds.
Hispanic high school students are more likely than other students to attempt suicide.
Some other statistics related to suicides in teens over the last few decades are as follows:
  • The reported suicide rate among 15- to 19-year-old males has increased threefold but remained stable among females in that age group and among 10- to 14-year-olds
  • The suicide rate among white adolescent males reached a peak in the late 1980s (18 per 100,000 in 1986) and has since declined somewhat (16 per 100,000 in 1997); whereas among African American male teenagers, the rate increased substantially in the same period (from 7.1 per 100,000 in 1986 to 11.4 per 100,000 in 1997)
  • From 1979 to 1992, the suicide rate for Native American male teens and young adults in Indian Health Service Areas was the highest in the nation, with a suicide rate of 62 per 100,000.
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