Teen Suicide Statistics

teen suicide statistics

Suicide Facts 

  • Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death of young persons aged 15-24 (5)
  • In 2014, 1,668 youth aged 13-18 committed suicide (5)
  • Every day approximately 105 Americans die by suicide (5)
  • Every 12.3 minutes there is a death by suicide in the United States (5)
  • Every 40 seconds there is a death by suicide worldwide (4)

***View our Teen Suicide Statistics Infographic

General Suicide Statistics by Gender (U.S.)

  • 77.9% of all suicides are male (5)
  • Females attempt suicide 3 times as often as males (5)
  • Firearms are used in 51% of male suicides (5)
  • 34.8% of female suicides used drugs (poisoning) as the method of suicide (5)

Teen Suicide Statistics by Age for 2014 (U.S.)

  • Age 13: 132 deaths – 3.17 per 100,000
  • Age 14: 179 deaths – 4.23 per 100,000
  • Age 15: 244 deaths – 5.86 per 100,000
  • Age 16: 313 deaths – 7.51 per 100,000
  • Age 17: 359 deaths – 8.58 per 100,000
  • Age 18: 441 deaths – 10.44 per 100,000
  • Total: 1,668 deaths – 6.63 per 100,000

These numbers are the totals for all races and both sexes. (5)

Teen Suicide Statistics by Race and Gender for 2014 (U.S.)

See the following breakdown by race and gender for the total 1,668 teen suicide deaths reported by the CDC :

  • 63% of teenage suicides were white males
  • 22% of teenage suicides were white females
  • White females accounted for 371 teenage suicides
  • White males accounted for 1047 teenage suicides
  • Black females accounted for 37 teenage suicides
  • Black males accounted for 102 teenage suicides
  • American Indian/Alaska Native females accounted for 21 teenage suicides
  • American Indian/Alaska Native males accounted for 30 teenage suicides
  • Asian/Pacific Islander females accounted for 26 teenage suicides
  • Asian/Pacific Islander males accounted for 34 teenage suicides

Teen Suicide Statistics by Year (U.S.)

  • 1999 – 1352 teen suicides
  • 2002 – 1246 teen suicides
  • 2006 – 1240 teen suicides
  • 2010 – 1386 teen suicides
  • 2014 – 1668 teen suicides

Statistics from the CDC for 13-18 year olds. (5)

Depression and Alcohol Abuse Statistics

According to the American Psychiatric Association (2), over – of all young persons who suffer from depression will eventually attempt suicide at least once. Of the more than – of young persons who attempt suicide due to depression, more than 7% will die as a result. 53% of teens who commit suicide abused alcohol.

Previous Suicide Attempts

Teens that have attempted suicide in the past are likely to attempt suicide again; in fact, according to the National Youth Violence Prevention Center (3), about 1/3 of all teen suicide victims have tried to commit suicide before.

High Risk Groups

According to the Youth Suicide Prevention Program (YSPP), Native American youth have the highest rates of suicide among ethnic groups. Gay youth are two to three times more likely to attempt suicide than other young people (4). A higher risk of suicide attempts for gay and lesbian youth has clearly been shown; however, there are no studies that show an elevated risk of death by suicide for gay and lesbian youth.

Alarming Numbers

Ten teenagers out of 100,000 decide to kill themselves. These numbers cannot be ignored. Educating our teens about suicide in school and at home can help reduce these numbers, while allowing teens to express their feelings and communicate their problems freely with someone can help save their lives as well. If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide please call 1-800-SUICIDE for more information.

Teen Suicide Prevention:
To help lower these teen suicide risks, it is important to know what the signs of depression and suicidal thoughts and tendencies are to help prevent suicide from happening. These signs may include teens showing signs of depression, inability to sleep or sleeping too much, irritability, refusal to talk, difficulty coping with stress, grief or other life challenges as well as drinking or drug use. Other risk factors or symptoms of depression or suicide may include suicidal tendencies like self-mutilation where a teen may be harming themselves through cutting, burning, etc. All of these are signs and possible symptoms of depression. About 90 percent of people who commit suicide have previously shown signs of depression.

Open communication is the most important part with teens. If your teen is exhibiting one or more of these signs and refuses to talk about it, it might be time to engage in professional therapy and/or antidepressant medications. If you are a friend of a teen that is having suicidal thoughts or is constantly depressed, encourage them to get help. If they do not want to get help on their own, it might be a good idea to notify a parent or teacher. Even if you are worried about them becoming mad at you for telling an adult about the situation, you still might be able to save their life.

If you are a teen with some of these symptoms, take this chance to get help now. Speak with a parent or trusted adult to try and get help. There are also teen depression hotlines or teen suicide help lines that work by allowing you to call in and get information on getting help. Sometimes teens simply need a willing ear to listen to their struggles. This is a great way to get that outlet. However, sometimes it may be more to the point of seeing a licensed professional.

Some teens also might be excellent candidates for the use of antidepressants to help them with their severe depression. This might be a great way to help prevent those teen suicide statistics from continuing to rise. If you are interested in learning more about antidepressants, be sure to consult with your health care professional. Some teens react the opposite to antidepressants, so it may not be a good idea for all to take them. However, simply speak with your doctor or therapist to learn more. Taking an active role to help curb the millions of Americans who struggle with depression each year, is taking the right step toward lowering teen suicide statistics.

Teen Suicide Statistics Sources:

  1. National Institute of Mental Health [online]
  2. American Psychiatric Association [online]
  3. National Youth Violence Prevention Center [online]
  4. World Health Organization – who.int [online]
  5. Center for Disease Control – cdc.gov [online]