Massachusetts

  • Suicides make up 57% of all firearm deaths in Massachusetts.
  • One in every five suicides in Massachusetts are by firearm.
  • In 2018, there were 148 firearm suicide deaths in Massachusetts.
  • Massachusetts had the lowest firearm suicide rate in the United States in 2018.

Data

While Massachusetts’s firearm suicide rate has consistently been one of the lowest rates in the country, the firearm suicide rate in Massachusetts increased 44% over the last decade (2009-2018).

Firearm Deaths in Massachusetts
2009-2018

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 Suicide Rates in Massachusetts and the United States
2009-2018

Age-adjusted rate per 100,000

Massachusetts
United States

Firearm Suicide Rates by County
2009-2018

Age-Adjusted Firearm Suicide Rate per 100,000

  • 0.79 to 1.39
  • 1.40 to 2.00
  • 2.01 to 2.61
  • 2.62 to 3.12
  • Suppressed /
    Unreliable

The CDC suppresses data in which fewer than 10 deaths are reported in a given time frame and considers firearm suicide rates based on fewer than 20 deaths “statistically unreliable.” Counties that meet this criteria are labeled “Suppressed/Unreliable.”

 

Demographics

The majority of suicide decedents are males. In Massachusetts, White (non Latino) males in particular are disproportionately impacted by firearm suicide. Hispanic/Latino males have the second highest firearm suicide rate in the state, followed by Black males.

Firearm Suicide Deaths in Massachusetts by Sex
2014-2018

Male
Female

Firearm Suicide Rates in Massachusetts by Sex, Race, and Ethnicity
2014-2018

Age-adjusted rate per 100,000

Male
Female

The CDC considers firearm suicide rates based on fewer than 20 deaths “statistically unreliable” and suppresses firearm suicide rates based on fewer than 10 deaths. Fewer than 20 firearm suicides were reported during this time period for the following races and Hispanic Origin category and therefore are omitted from the above chart: American Indian/ Alaska Native females and males, Asian/ Pacific Islander females and males, Black females, and Hispanic/Latina females.

Notes:

  • The most recently available CDC data is 2018; as such, 2018 data is used where appropriate.
  • Unless otherwise specified, statistics reflect 5-year averages (2014-2018).
  • All rates listed are age-adjusted in order to allow for accurate comparisons between populations with differing age distributions.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Suicide Deaths and Rates per 100,000. WONDER Online Database, 1999-2018. Available: http://wonder.cdc.gov/ucd-icd10.html.

 

This page was last updated on March 17, 2020.