University of Washington
Need help now?  Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1.800.273.8255
Need Help Now? Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. 1.800.273.8255

Suicide Data

Suicide Data

Summary

More than 800,000 people worldwide die by suicide each year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

More than 42,000 people die by suicide each year in the U.S. — one death approximately every 13 minutes. It is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. (Source: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention).  In 2015, 9.8 million U.S. adults aged 18 or older thought seriously about trying to kill themselves, including 2.7 million who made suicide plans and 1.4 million who made non-fatal attempts (Source: SAMSHA).

In Washington state, 1,111 residents died by suicide in 2014. That's nearly 15.9 deaths per 100,000 people, significantly higher than the national average of 12.93 per 100,000.

Middle-aged men, Native Americans and Alaska Natives, trans* and veterans of the U.S. armed forces are the highest at-risk groups. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among Washington’s young people ages 10 to 24.

Below are key statistics and demographic data about suicide rates In Washington

Suicide Trends in Washington State

Source: Washington State Department of Health, Suicide Deaths in Washington, Sabel 2013

Washington State has higher rates of suicide than the national average. The rate has been increasing since 2006.

suicide wa state and us death certificates

Leading Causes of Suicide in Washington State

Following the national trend, over half of all deaths by suicide were with firearms. Suffocation was the second most common cause.

Cause of Death % of Deaths
Firearms 51
Suffocation 22
Poisoning 19
Fall 4
Cut 2
Other (drowning, fire, unspecified) 2
 

Suicide and Veterans

Twenty three percent of all deaths by suicide in Washington between the years of 2010-2012 were by members of the U.S. Armed Forces however, veterans only make up 8.5% of the general population.

  U.S. Armed Forces Participation
Age Group (years)

Yes

No

  # of suicides % of suicides   # of suicides % of suicides
10-24 26 7 363 93
25-44 134 14 812 86
45-64 243 22 882 78
65+ 265 56 211 44
Total 668 23 2268 77

Suicide Age and Gender, 2010-2012

Elderly males have the highest suicide rate in Washington; generally the older the male, the higher the rate of suicide. Men ages 45–64 had the highest number of suicides. Female suicide rates are highest in the 45-54 age groups.

Suicide Race and Ethnicity 2010-2012

In Washington State, American Indian and Alaskan Natives have the highest rates of suicide, while whites make up the largest number of deaths.

Rates of Suicide By County

Asotin, Chelan, Clallam, Okanogan, Pacific, Pierce, Skamania and Stevens had the highest suicide rates. These rates were significantly higher than the state rate. King County had the lowest suicide rates during 2008-2012, which was significantly lower than the state rate.

 

Additional Resources