Statistics

Firearm Deaths in the U.S.
2008-2017

Number of deaths

Suicide
Homicide
Other

The “other” category is defined as any firearm death that is not defined by the CDC as a homicide or a suicide. This could include unintentional, undetermined, and legal intervention. To obtain the number of deaths in the “other” category, the total number of firearm suicide deaths and firearm homicide deaths were subtracted from the overall firearm deaths in a given year.

Firearm Death Rates in the U.S.
2008-2017

Age-adjusted rate per 100,000

Firearm Homicide Rate
Firearm Suicide Rate

 

 

Disparities Across Demographics

BY SEX

While females are more likely than males to attempt suicide, males are four times more likely to die by suicide.  Across all demographics, males have higher rates of firearm suicide and suicide overall. This is primarily due to the fact that males are more likely to use a more lethal suicide attempt method, such as firearms. Suicide attempts among males are eight times more likely to involve firearms than attempts among females.

Firearm Suicide Deaths by Sex
2013-2017

Male
Female

 

 

BY SEX, RACE, AND ETHNICITY

White males and American Indian/Alaska Native males are disproportionately impacted by firearm suicide. White males die by firearm suicide at a rate 2 times higher than the overall population and American Indian/Alaska Native males die by firearm suicide at a rate 1.3 times higher than the overall population.

 

Firearm Suicide Rates by Sex, Race, and Ethnicity
2013-2017

Age-adjusted rate per 100,000

Male
Female

The chart above includes four racial categories: (1) American Indian/Alaska Native, (2) Asian, (3) Black, and (4) White; as well as one Hispanic Origin category: (1) Hispanic/Latino. Race and Hispanic Origin categories defined by the CDC are not mutually exclusive, meaning that a person counted in the Hispanic/Latino category will also be counted in a racial category at the same time.

Variations by State

Firearm suicide rates vary substantially across the country. Suicide rates (both overall and by firearm) are generally higher in places where household firearm ownership is more common. In 2017, Hawaii had the lowest firearm suicide rate, while Montana had the highest.

 

State Firearm Suicide Rates, 2017
Ranked from Lowest to Highest

Age-adjusted rate per 100,000

Sources:

Unless otherwise specified, all other data is compiled from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Underlying Cause of Death 1999-2017 on CDC Wonder Online Database.

  1. Conner A, Azrael D, & Miller M. (2019). Suicide case-fatality rates in the United States, 2007 to 2014: A nationwide population-based study. Annals of Internal Medicine.

 

This page was last updated on December 16, 2019.