Bad news and good news: Increasing suicide rates and falling homicide rates among American youths

From the National Center for Health Statistics:

In 2017, suicide and homicide were the second and third leading causes of death for persons aged 15–19 and 20–24 and ranked second and fifth among persons aged 10–14 (4). After a stable period from 2000 to 2007, suicide and homicide death rates for persons aged 10–24 increased recently during the time period, since 2007 for suicide, and since 2014 for homicide. For persons aged 10–14, suicide rates began increasing in 2010, whereas the homicide rate declined during the 2000–2017 period. In contrast, recent increases were observed for both suicide and homicide death rates among persons aged 15–19 and 20–24, with the increases for suicide rates beginning earlier than for homicide rates. In addition, for persons aged 15–19 and 20–24, suicide rates surpassed homicide rates during the latter part of the period.

Here are the trends:

As you can see, the changes in suicide and homicide deaths over time roughly cancel each other. Let’s be grateful for the falling homicide rate. The bad news is that the increase in the US suicide rates seen in the entire population also holds for adolescents and young adults.

h/t: David States, MD


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