This week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a new report, Death Rates Due to Suicide and Homicide Among Persons Aged 10–24: United States, 2000–2017. Among children and youth ages, 10 to 24 years old suicides climbed 56% between 2007 and 2017. Perhaps what is even worse is that the suicide rate for persons aged 10–14, nearly tripled from 2007 to 2017. The rate of homicide deaths for the age group 10 to 24 decreased by 23% from 2007 to 2014 but then increased by 18% through 2017.

Despite concern over the rising suicide rates, researchers aren’t sure of the exact causes. A rise in depression among adolescents, drug use, stress, and access to firearms might all be contributing factors, experts say. Others have speculated on increased isolation that may be resulting from the increased use of social media and technology. The data and trends are even more troubling when it reaches children as young as ten years old who have decided they do not want to continue living.

In summary, the CDC data brief reported:

  • 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.
  • After a stable period from 2000 to 2007, suicide and homicide death rates for persons aged 10–24 increased 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.