Statistics

  • In 2007, there were 504 suicides in Massachusetts – more than deaths from homicide (183) and HIV/AIDS (143) combined.
  • Most Massachusetts’ suicides occur in the middle age population; 43.8% of all suicides in 2007 were among those ages 35-54 years (N= 221, 11.3 per 100,000)
  • Male suicides exceeded female suicides by more than 3 to 1 (in MA)
  • Both nationwide and in Massachusetts, youth suicide is the third leading cause of death for young people ages 15-24
  • Although the highest number of suicides among males occurred in mid-life ages 35-44 years (N=92, 19.2 per 100,000), the highest rate of suicide occurred among males 85 and older (N=16, 38.9 per 100,000).
  • The highest number and rate of suicides among females were among those ages 55-64 years (N-25, 6.6 per 100,000)
  • Nonfatal self-inury also burdens the Commonwealth’s health care system – there were 4,305 hospital stays (66.7 per 100,000) and 6,720 emergency department discharges (104.2 per 100,000) for nonfatal self-inflicted injury in FY2007.

There is also general agreement that suicide and suicide attempts are under-reported at present, due to lack of data standard, pressure from some survivors, and stigma.  Similar to other previously under-recognizd problems (e.g. intimate partner violence, child abuse), as awareness of the scope of the problem rises and more people feel comfortable with reporting the event, rate may increase for a time.  We anticipate that the same thing may  happen with suicide; that is, as suicide and suicidal behavior become more recognized and is reported more frequently, rates will actually increase for a time.