49,449 Americans committed suicide in 2022, hitting record high

The majority of suicides, 55 percent, were carried out using firearms.

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New data released by the Centers for Disease Control has revealed that there were a record number of suicides in the United States in 2022. Nearly 50,000 Americans took their own lives, up 2.6 percent from the previous year.

The suicide rate rose steadily in the US between 2000 and 2018, at which point it went down. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, however, the number of people making the decision has increased.

According to the CDC, 49,449 deaths were attributed to suicide in 2022. Of the victims, over 39,000 were men, with women making up just one-fifth of the total number. Despite making up 50 percent of the population, males have routinely had a much higher suicide rate than females.

Over 37,000 white Americans killed themselves, while for black and Hispanics the numbers were far lower, at 3,825 and 5,120, respectively. Just under 1,500 Asians committed suicide.

All but one racial group saw the rate of suicides go up in 2022, save for American Indian or Alaska Native, who experienced a decrease of 6.1 percent over the previous year.

Age-wise, older Americans were more likely to commit suicide than their younger countrymen. While 25-64 year-olds made up the bulk of the deaths, the over-85 crowd had the highest rate, at 22.4 per 100,000. 

The majority of suicides, 55 percent, were carried out using firearms. A further 26 percent suffocated, and 12 percent poisoned themselves. The remaining 8 percent used another method.

A recent study conducted by Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health revealed that for the first time, the rate of gun-related suicides among black teenagers had surpassed that among whites. 

According to the Associated Press, the CDC will be expanding upon its existing suicide prevention program, offering resources to people across the US who may be struggling with mental health issues or contemplating taking their own lives.
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