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Suicide takes the lives of more than 30,000 Americans each year (10.8 per 100,000 population). More people die in the United States from suicide than from homicide (7.1 per 100,000 population).

Overall, suicide is the eighth leading cause of death in the U.S., and is the third leading cause of death for young people aged 15-24. Although the age-adjusted suicide rate has remained constant since the 1940s, suicide rates have shifted for some groups during the period between 1980 and 1995. For example, suicide rates have increased among youth between the ages of 10 and 19, among elderly males, and among young black males. For the first time since the 1930s, suicide rates have increased among Americans over the age of 60.

Nearly 60% of all suicides are committed with a firearm.

In 1998, more than 90% of all U.S. suicide victims were white Americans, with males accounting for 73% and females 18% of all suicides. However, during the period from 1979-1992, suicide rates for Native Americans (a category that includes American Indians and Alaska Natives) were about 1.5 times the national rates-a disproportionate number of suicides (64%) were among young male Native Americans between 15-24 years of age. Suicide among black youths, once uncommon, has increased sharply in recent years.

The rate of black suicide for teens 15-19 more than doubled from 3.6 per 100,000 to 8.1 per 100,000 from 1980-1995. The latest statistics show that roughly 5.7 per 100,000 African American deaths are certified as suicide-a rate of 5 each day.

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