Youth Suicide Rates Up Over 50 Percent This Past Decade

September 14, 2020 Updated: September 14, 2020

Suicide rates among younger individuals ranging from children to young adults have risen by over 50 percent between 2007 and 2018, according to a new report from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

The data was collected from death certificates of individuals ages 10 to 24 citing suicide from all 50 states across the United States, as well as from the District of Columbia, ranging from the year 2000 all the way up to 2018. In addition, the percentage change was also recorded from the three-year averages of two different time frames—2007 to 2009 and 2016 to 2018—for all 50 states excluding the District of Columbia.

According to the report (pdf), from 2000 all the way up to 2007, the suicide rate for individuals aged 10 to 24 was stable at around 7 suicides per 100,000 in the United States. From 2007 on, the rate started to increase steadily, from 6.8 suicides per 100,000 people in 2007 to 10.7 suicides per 100,000 people in 2018—a 57.4 percent increase.

Furthermore, the data indicated that when comparing two three-year averages—2007 to 2009 and 2016 to 2018—the suicide rate had significantly increased in 42 of the country’s 50 states.

“The 2016–2018 suicide rate among persons aged 10–24 was highest for Alaska (31.4 per 100,000),” the report read.

“Other states with among the highest suicide rates were South Dakota (23.6), Montana (23.2), Wyoming (20.5), and New Mexico (19.6). The lowest suicide rates were among states in the Northeast: New Jersey (5.7), Rhode Island (5.9), New York (5.9), Connecticut (6.3), and Massachusetts (6.4).”

“There are many reasons to suspect that suicide rates will increase this year too, not just because of COVID-19 but because stress and anxiety seem to be permeating every aspect of our lives,” Shannon Monnat, the Lerner Chair for Public Health Promotion at Syracuse University, told Bloomberg.

She added that children aren’t exempt from experiencing stressors such as anxiety and unrest.

Research shows a clear link between the effects of quarantine and stay-at-home practices and mental health, Dr. Elinore McCance-Katz, assistant secretary for mental health and substance abuse at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), warned in May.

The Epoch Times reporter Charlotte Cuthbertson contributed to this report.