What are the racial predilections of suicidal behaviors?

Updated: Sep 25, 2018
  • Author: Stephen Soreff, MD; Chief Editor: Glen L Xiong, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

In the United States, most suicides occur within the white population. The rate for white men in 2007 was 13.5 cases per 100,000 population; for black men, 5.1 cases per 100,000 population; and for Hispanic men, 6.0 cases per 100,000 population. [38] However, the rate for Native American and Alaska Native men was 14.3 cases per 100,000 population. [38]

Furthermore, in sampling surveys (one from 53 countries and one from 43 countries), Voracek et al found that regardless of sex or age, people with a lighter skin color have a higher rate of suicide than do those with darker skin color. [87]

Although suicide rates for children aged younger than 12 years are significant, they have rarely been studied from a racial perspective. In 2015, researchers reviewed national mortality data on suicide in children aged 5 to 11 years in the United States from January 1, 1993, to December 31, 2012. The results showed that although the overall suicide rate in school-aged children in the United States appeared stable over the 20 years of study, there was a significant increase in suicide incidence in black children and a significant decrease in suicide among white children. [88]


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