Last week the CDC announced that suicide rates increased by 35 percent since the start of this century. From 1999 to 2018, the suicide rate went from 10.5 per 100,000 to 14.2. The CDC report shows that the increases have accelerated over time, increasing by one percent a year through 2006 but have been going up by 2 percent a year since 2007. Rates are higher for males over females by 3.7 times, with the highest rate for males over 75.

Another part of the CDC report seems to confirm, to a certain extent, recent studies that have examined the impact of increased drug use and economic dislocation in certain parts of the U.S. The rate of suicide is higher in rural counties than in urban areas, and that may be related to both the recent opioid epidemic and changes in the economy (not related to this pandemic). The rural increases were for both men and women.

Suicide rates seemed to snap upward for male boys. For boys ten years of age to 14, the rate had decreased from 1.9 in 1999 to 1.2 per 100,000 in 2007, but as of 2018, that rate had increased dramatically to 3.7 in 2018. The rates for 10 to 14-year-olds were the lowest of all age groups overall.