• Nov 27, 2021
  • 6:36 AM

Suicide Prevention – Statistics


Suicide is a national public health issue that affects people from all walks of life. Suicide is a complex issue with no single cause and we are committed to ending Veteran suicide.

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs 2021 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report, Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, 2021 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report (PDF) :

The U.S. population, as well as the Veteran population, experienced a decrease in the suicide count and rate from 2018 to 2019. 45,861 Americans adults died by suicide in 2019. Veterans accounted for 6,261 of these deaths.

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.

Report Statistics:

  • There were 399 fewer Veterans died from suicide in 2019 than in 2018, reflecting the lowest raw count of Veteran suicides since 2007.
  • 2 Veterans die by suicide each day.
  • Veterans represented 13.7% of suicides among U.S. adults in 2019.
  • Adjusted rates fell from 2018 to 2019 for Veterans:
    • rates fell 7.2% among Veterans and 1.8% among non-Veterans.
  • Veterans ages 55-74 were the largest population subgroup, accounting for 38.6% of Veteran suicide deaths in 2019.
  • In 2019, the unadjusted suicide rates were highest among Veterans ages 18-34 (44.4 per 100,000)
  • The age- and sex-adjusted suicide rate decreased 7.2% in 2019 compared to 2018, decreasing from 29.0 Veteran suicides per 100,000 in 2018 to 26.9 Veteran suicides per 100,000 in 2019.
  • There was a nearly 13% one-year rate (unadjusted rate) decrease for female Veterans, which represents the largest rate decrease for Women Veterans in 17 years.
  • White Veterans continue to exhibit the highest unadjusted rates, followed by American Indians/Alaskan Natives; Asians, Native Hawaiians, or Other Pacific Islanders; followed by Black/African American Veterans.
  • Firearms accounted for 70.2% of male Veteran suicides in 2019 (up from 69.6% in 2018) and 49.8% of female Veteran suicides in 2019 (up from 41.1% in 2018).

COVID-19: Monitoring of VHA Suicide-Related Indicators Key Finding:

  • VA has not observed increases in documentation of the above suicide-related indicators.
  • VA has observed increases in all-cause mortality among Veteran VHA patients, including those with and those without diagnosed mental health conditions. Increased all-cause mortality associated with the pandemic exceeds the number of VA deaths that have been directly attributed to COVID-19.
  • Age- and sex-adjusted all-cause mortality is greater among Veterans in VHA care with mental health conditions compared to other Veterans in VHA care.
  • The level of differential mortality by mental health status has not increased since the pandemic began.

According to the Veteran Suicide Data Sheet, 2019:

  • 115 Veterans died by suicide in Nevada in 2019
  • After accounting for age differences, the Veteran suicide rate in Nevada:
    • Was significantly higher than the national Veteran suicide rate
    • Was significantly higher than the national general population suicide rate

Current Department of Health and Human Services Report: DHHS Suicide Prevention Report- November 2020

Previous Annual Report: 2020 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report (PDF)