Statistics

 

 

Firearm Suicide Deaths in the U.S.
2008-2017

Number of deaths

 

 

Firearm Suicide Rate in the U.S.
2008-2017

Age-adjusted rate per 100,000

 

 

Disparities Across Demographics

BY SEX

While females are more likely than males to have suicidal thoughts, males are more likely to die by suicide.2 On average, men are 6.4 times more likely to die by firearm suicide than women. 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. Poisoning is the most commonly used method of suicide among females, while firearms are the most commonly used method among males.

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. Azrael D & Miller M. (2016). Reducing suicide without affecting underlying mental health: Theoretical underpinnings and a review of the evidence base linking the availability of lethal means and suicide. In: The International Handbook of Suicide Prevention, 2nd Ed, pp. 637-662.
  2. Tsirigotis K, Gruszczynski W, & Tsirigotis M. (2011). Gender differentiation in methods of suicide attempts. Medical Science Monitor.

 

This page was last updated on August 1, 2019.