2017 Suicide Statistics: over 47,000 deaths

Suicide Statistics — AFSP (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention) – Apr 2019

While this data is the most accurate we have, we estimate the numbers to be higher. Stigma surrounding suicide leads to underreporting, and data collection methods critical to suicide prevention need to be improved.

  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US
  • In 2017, 47,173 Americans died by suicide
  • In 2017, there were an estimated 1,400,000 suicide attempts
  • In 2015, suicide and self-injury cost the US $69  Billion

It’s a strange coincidence that almost the same number of people died from all drug overdoses as from suicide – especially since it is suspected that some overdosed intentionally and would count in both tallies. 

Additional Facts About Suicide in the US   

  • The age-adjusted suicide rate in 2017 was 14.0 per 100,000 individuals.
  • The rate of suicide is highest in middle-age white men in particular.
  • In 2017, men died by suicide 3.54x more often than women.
  • On average, there are 129 suicides per day.
  • White males accounted for 69.67% of suicide deaths in 2017.
  • In 2017, firearms accounted for 50.57% of all suicide deaths.

The article has informative graphs illustrating various aspects of all these suicides:

  • Suicide Rates by Age
  • Suicide Rates by Race/Ethnicity
  • Suicide Methods

Suicide Attempts

In the U.S., no complete count of suicide attempt data are available.

This is outrageous. It’s inexcusable that the CDC is not collecting more data on the 10th leading cause of death.

The CDC gathers data from hospitals on non-fatal injuries from self-harm as well as survey data.

So, if the data is gathered, where is it?

We can see all the data, available in many charts and tables, about opioid overdoses (even though it contradicts the story about Rx opioids being the problem), yet we can’t see enough data on suicides to formulate any helpful interventions.

They are so concerned about any data showing negative effects from opioids but remain stubbornly silent about all the other problems in the “public health” domain.

In 2015, (the most recent year for which data are available), approximately 575,000 people visited a hospital for injuries due to self-harm.

Based on the 2017 National Survey of Drug Use and Mental Health it is estimated that

  • 0.6 percent of the adults aged 18 or older made at least one suicide attempt.This translates to approximately 1.4 million adults.
  • Adult females reported a suicide attempt 1.4 times as often as males. Further breakdown by gender and race are not available.
  • Based on the 2017 Youth Risk Behaviors Survey, 7.4 percent of youth in grades 9-12 reported that they had made at least one suicide attempt in the past 12 months.
  • Female students attempted almost twice as often as male students (9.3% vs. 5.1%).
  • Black students reported the highest rate of attempt (9.8%) with white students at 6.1 percent.
  • Approximately 2.4 percent of all students reported making a suicide attempt that required treatment by a doctor or nurse. For those requiring treatment, rates were highest for Black students (3.4%).
AFSP’s latest data on suicide are taken from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Data & Statistics Fatal Injury Report for 2017. Suicide rates listed are Age-Adjusted Rates.

7 thoughts on “2017 Suicide Statistics: over 47,000 deaths

  1. peter jasz

    (RE: 2017 Suicide Statistics: over 47,000 deaths)

    These are terribly sad statistics. It’s not unreasonable to think that many are suicides are a direct result of under-treated (unbearable, intractable) pain.To know that such deaths takes place regularly is startling and nothing short of an alarming, damning, unfortunate trauma for victim -and families.

    This is insane. It’s time for everyone to take notice.


    Liked by 2 people

  2. Kathy Cooper

    The failure to recognize the number of suicides, and the refusal to count then in a meaningful way feeds into the denial. I live in a state with one of the highest rates of suicide in the US, and they appear to be covering up the facts. There are no clear reporting requirements either, and religious affiliations victim of both the recorder or the can effect whether a death is counted as a suicide. I suspect that any death involving opiates or where there is a trace amount of opiate in the dead person’s system is counted as an overdose, in order to inflate the numbers and increase the denial..
    The American population is subject to massive amounts of lies,propaganda, and misinformation. We have seen virtually no meaningful media coverage of the suicide epidemic. The rising rates of suicide are an indictment on just about everything, from the high rates of stress, many Americans live with daily to our broken healthcare system. In order to continue with the status quo, the facts have to be withheld. Instead of facts, our media and social media is full of content marketing, where unethical psychologists, psychiatrists and social workers peddle books, their services or misleading the public with anecdotal feel good stories. They typically misreport the facts in order to sell medications, Aps and programs that are not effective at all, but only appear to be in the short term. There is no discussion of the failures, the ruined lives or the root causes.

    It is really clear that this information needs to be suppressed in order to continue to Gas Light us all. They have made no significant improvement in anything related to mental health in 50 years, in fact they seem to be going backwards. The big tech companies are monetizing suicide, peddling the idea that they can predict suicide by monitoring speech or other factors. The pharma industry has already monetized suicide to a point, where they use advocacy groups they fund to do awareness campaigns, in order to sell more ineffective pharmaceuticals.

    In a real scientific or sensible world the data would be collected in a meaningful way and people would be informed, that is the opposite of what is happening here. The data they collect is meant to obscure the facts, mislead the public and suppress information. There is no profit in questioning how this data is being misused. There is a lot more profit in perpetuating the current broken system. One would think there would be regulations about using suicide to market products or services, but here in the US, nothing is off limits. They use addiction, and the deaths attributed to opiates, as a hook in marketing campaigns too.

    One would think a clever researcher out there would notice a difference between teen suicides, and the older people without medical care, painful debilitating health conditions. and no future income, or work prospects. The researchers are not funded to find out these distinctions. In order to get funded or have their academic institution receive funding they must come up with catchy trendy research, that promotes more monetization of human interactions. The facts don’t sell any products or any expensive interventions.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Zyp Czyk Post author

      Sadly, you’re right. The only studies that get funding are the ones who’s findings support the story the funders are trying to sell.

      It’s sickening that we’ve become a nation where the only motive is money – how the public fares under these government policies is somehow deemed irrelevant.


      1. Kathy Cooper

        ON the SAMHA website there is not one word about pain or chronic pain. Not one table study or data collection on one of the largest public health issues. A search for chronic pain turned up a link to the CDC “Guidelines.” They also refer to some commercial enterprises, like the Mayo Clinic.

        They promote this paper by a Pain psychologist, promoting CBT, however the paper has been removed and the link no longer works. There is no clear data on the effectiveness of CBT for intractable pain patients, yet they are promoting it. I noticed that the insurance industry has been championing Tele-Medicine, and here on the SAMSA website, there is still no research on the effectiveness, but it is better than nothing, or the limited resources available to these patients. New Mexico does not track outcomes, they make the few providers they have look bad. https://healthit.ahrq.gov/ahrq-funded-projects/past-initiatives/transforming-healthcare-quality-through-health-it/project-echo-bringing

        Here is another credible sounding link, https://www.practicalbioethics.org/programs/pains-pain-action-alliance-to-implement-a-national-strategy apparently they “help” a small groups in Kansas City. Of course there is no information as to the effectiveness or the outcomes. This group has not posted anything about pain since 2013. They endorsed the CDC guidlines with their silence. Their FB page discusses genetics and designer babies, a lot more trendy than pain, and better for fundraising.

        The SAMHSA Twitter feed has our federal agencies teeming up with and supported churches to address suicide. This appears to have led to an increase in suicides over the years, but they are not counting. Less people are attending churches, and they have not been particularly effective at helping with any social problems.

        SAMHSA collaborated with the @Action_Alliance and its Faith Communities Task Force to develop the #SuicidePrevention Competencies for Faith Leaders ➡️ https://go.edc.org/ojvn #FaithHopeLife

        There is of course nothing new or even any new areas of research when it comes to suicide, it is like they keep looking at the same things that did not pan out in previous attempts at researching suicide. The facts about chronic pain and suicide are apparently inconvenient, and unprofitable.

        We are all being Gas Lighted.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. canarensis

    I suspect that the number of suicides is actually considerably higher than opioid deaths…given the way the CDC counts ODs, it’s almost guaranteed. And last time I looked, ALL drug deaths (legal & illegal) wasn’t in the top 10 nationally, or (I think) the top 12 CODs. Not that the CDC or anyone else in power will admit this.



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