Suicides in U.S. Increased 4% in 2021 After Two Years of Decline

    The number of U.S. suicides rose 4% in 2021 compared with 2020, according to a preliminary report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    The CDC said their provisional numbers show there were 47,646 suicides in 2021, compared with 45,979 the previous year, HealthDay reports.

    Suicide is the second leading cause of death among people ages 10 to 34 in the U.S., according to the CDC. Suicides increased 35% from 1999 to 2018 before declining by 5% through 2020. Despite the overall recent decline, rates continued to increase among females ages 10 to 24 and among males 10 to 44 and 75 and over.

    In September, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released new data showing that in its first month, the new 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline had a 45% increase in overall volume compared with the old 10-digit National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number.

    In August 2022, the 988 Lifeline answered 152,000 more contacts (calls, chats and texts) compared to August 2021 and significantly improved how quickly contacts were answered, according to HHS. The average speed to answer across all contacts decreased from 2.5 minutes to 42 seconds.