West Virginia

  • Suicides make up 75% of all firearm deaths in West Virginia.
  • Nearly two-thirds of all suicides in West Virginia are by firearm.
  • In 2018, there were 257 firearm suicide deaths in West Virginia, including 12 children and teens (ages 0-19).
  • West Virginia’s firearm suicide rate is higher than most states’ — in 2018, West Virginia had the 5th highest firearm suicide rate in the country.

Data

The firearm suicide rate in West Virginia increased 45% over the last ten years (2009-2018) and continues to be higher than the United States’ rate. In 2018, West Virginia’s firearm suicide rate was 1.9 times higher than the United States’ rate.

Firearm Deaths in West Virginia
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 West Virginia and the United States
2009-2018

Age-adjusted rate per 100,000

West Virginia
United States
 

Demographics

The majority of suicide decedents are males. In West Virginia, White (non Latino) males in particular are disproportionately impacted by firearm suicide. White (non Latino) females have the second highest firearm suicide rate in the state.

Firearm Suicide Deaths in West Virginia by Sex
2014-2018

Male
Female

Firearm Suicide Rates in West Virginia 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 males, and Hispanic/Latino females and males.

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 19, 2020.