• Sep 25, 2021
  • 5:30 PM

Suicide Prevention – Statistics

Suicide is a national public health issue that affects people from all walks of life; it does not discriminate amongst race, gender, age or social economic status. Suicide is a complex issue with no single cause. The U.S. adult population continues to see increases in suicides, 46,510 Americans adults died by suicide in 2018, compared with 45,390 in 2017.

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs 2020 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report, Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, 2020 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report (PDF).

DHHS Suicide Prevention Report- November 2020

In 2018, 6,435 U.S. Veterans died by suicide.
For this report, a Veteran is defined as someone who has been activated for federal military service and was not currently serving at the time of death.

There was not a significant increase in Veteran suicide rate, average deaths per day or count from 2017 to 2018.

  • 17.6 veterans die by suicide each day.
  • From 2017 to 2018, the average number of Veteran suicides per day rose from 17.5 to 17.6.
  • The age- and sex-adjusted rate among Veterans was not significantly different in 2018(27.5 per 100,000) than in 2017 (27.3 per 100,000).
  • The annual total number of Veteran suicide deaths increased by 36 from 2017 to 2018, an increase of 0.6% (from 6,399 on 2017 to 6,435 in 2018), while the veteran population fell by 1.5% (from 20.4 million to 20.1 million).
  • In each year since 2008, the number of Veteran suicides has exceeded 6,300.
  • After adjusting for differences in age and sex, the suicide rate for Veterans is 1.5 times greater than non-Veteran adults.
  • In 2018, firearms resulted in 69.4% of male Veteran suicides deaths and 41.9% of female Veteran suicide deaths.Never Federally Activated Former Service Members.
  • There were 538 suicides among never federally activated former Service members in 2018, an average of 1.5 suicide deaths per day.
  • The Count of suicide deaths among never federally activated former Service Members was 554(average of 1.5 per day) in 2017.

Previous Annual Report: 2019 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report (PDF)