USA Suicide Deaths 1979 to 1996
This web page is in memory of the victims of suicide.
U.S. Surgeon General Concerned About U.S. Suicides
Single Parent Homes and Suicide
In the interval from 1979 to 1996 there were a total of 535,890 deaths in the U.S.A. that
were diagnosed and reported to have been suicides.
Of these suicide victims, 421,991 were boys and men, and 113,899 were girls and women.
There was not one single age group in any year in which boys or men committing suicide did not exceed by far
the numbers of girls or women who killed themselves.
The number of male suicide victims rose in virtually every year during the eighteen-year 1979 - 1996 interval,
whereas the number of female victims of suicide was generally on the decline in virtually every year.
The number of female suicide victims was considerably lower in 1996 than it was in 1979, in spite of a sizeable
increase in the American population during that period. It declined from 6,950 to 5,905 annually.
The number of the male suicide victims rose during the same period from 20,256 to 24,998 annually.
Extrapolating from those statistics to the early 1960s, when the impact of
the new realities of no-fault divorce and the feminization of America became fully reflected in the escalating
male suicide rates, and extrapolating to the year 2000, when its impact was still being felt to its full deadly
extent, it can be estimated that a total of 800,000 American boys and men committed suicide in the 1962-2000 interval.
In other words, more American boys and men died during and on account of the War of the Sexes than died in all
military conflicts in which the USA were involved during the 20th century. The number of American boys and men
killed in military actions during the 20th century is 661,946 (excluding the 4,273 boys and men killed in military
actions during the 1899-1902 Philippines War).
If we were to assume that a number of 6,000 male suicides
are to be subtracted from the annual male suicide casualties - the equivalent of female suicides - to allow that
only the remainder of the male suicides are attributable to the War of the Sexes, the male casualties in the war
of the sexes during the 1962-2000 interval still amount to 565,047 war dead, almost as many as the 595,242 American
military casualties that died in all of the 20th century wars up to and including the Korean War.
Where are the memorials for the war-dead of the War of the Sexes, the Rout of the American Males? A total of
800,000 boys and men gave their lives not in the service of their country but to cater to equal rights for women,
and there's not a single memorial or cenotaph to mourn their passing.
However, the eight American women
that were members of the American Armed Forces during the Vietnam War and died during their terms of service were
given a memorial all of their own.
See also Glenn Sack's commentary: Distraught Father's Courthouse
Suicide Highlights America's Male Suicide Epidemic
(San Diego Union-Tribune, 2002 01 11)
There is something disagreeable about suicide. Of course, of
the higher vertebrates, it is only humans who regularly, steadily and in
considerable numbers deliberately kill themselves, not only each other
but themselves by their own hands.
It is a terrible tragedy that with the age of enlightenment
that ostensibly came about as a result of the new insights that growing
liberalism bestowed upon us, suicides, which were a part of human life
throughout history, have now grown to epidemic proportions, to the
extent that in the USA and in other nations the number of suicide
victims now annually exceeds the total of victims of violent deaths
Governments all over the world appear to be very reluctant to devote
much effort to investigating the causes of suicide. Perhaps that is because it seems that one way to largely prevent
suicides would be to have strong families that would provide strong support networks of relatives. That would be
contrary to the governments' policies of pushing an agenda of negative population growth, and, to further that, the
required destruction of our families.
To governments who actively pursue that agenda, rising
suicide rates must seem like a blessing. How else can it be explained that not only do the causes of the suicide
epidemic go uninvestigated, but that not even any efforts are made to determine why one sex is so much more prone than
the other to commit suicide. Today, depending on age, men are on average up to more than eleven times as likely
to commit suicide than women are.
For almost one in every hundred men of age 85 or over, suicide seems to
be the only avenue of escape from a life that seems no longer bearable. However that greatest tragic aspect of
the high suicide rates is that the largest group of victims, by far, is comprised of teenaged boys and of young men.
An enormous number of potentially creative and productive life-years are thus lost to society, far more than on account
of most other causes of death.
The controlling factor in that is not biological but, rather,
sociological. As the Canadian suicide rates for the
depression show, men in just one small age group (60 and over) were the ones who caused the Canadian suicide rate to
rise in 1930 to a never-before-seen high. Unfortunately, as of now it isn't possible to make a comparison to
American suicide rates during the Great Depression, because comparable data for the USA appears to be impossible to
find. However, there is a wealth of information relating to suicide rates during the seventies in many developed
countries. All of them show that the beginning of the rapid increases in suicide rates coincided with the
liberalization of divorce laws and, in general, with the rapid implementation of liberal policies.
These circumstances of male suicides should provide a strong incentive to any government to track not just the
means by which suicides are committed but, rather, to determine the motivation for suicides. Without knowing
the latter, it is not in the least likely that any solutions to the problem will be found. It seems that the
inroads made by man-hating feminists in all walks of governments and the bureaucracy is the driving force behind
censorship and obfuscation of the facts.
It appears to be highly unlikely that there
could be any other reason why women's suicides, about 20% of the overall total of suicide victims anywhere, receive
an inordinate amount of attention that is applied to the creation of generous funding for women's issues. On
the other hand, men's suicides, so far larger in number, appear to be totally insufficient in creating any concern
at all. Certainly, there is not enough concern to devote any funding to support the study of men's issues.
(See poster "Save the Males")
However, it is most offensive that there is not only a lack of motivation in government offices to
collect statistics pertaining to the causes of men's suicides, but that there is also evidence that sex-specific
suicide data is deliberately obfuscated in ways that play down the gravity of a situation involving a pandemic of
male suicides that since the early seventies exceeded the prior crisis situation reached in just one or two years
of the Great Depression.
Youth Suicide and Divorce — Single Parent Homes:
"In a study of 146 adolescent friends of 26 adolescent suicide victims, teens living in
single-parent families are not only more likely to commit suicide but also more likely to suffer from psychological
disorders, when compared to teens living in intact families."
Source: David A. Brent, (et. al.) "Post-traumatic Stress Disorders in Peers of Adolescent Suicide
Victims: Predisposing Factors and Phenomenology." Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent
Psychiatry 34 (1995): 209-215.
"Fatherless children are at dramatically greater risk of suicide."
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Center for Health Statistics, Survey
on Child Health, Washington, D.C., 1993.
"Three out of four teenage suicides occur in households where a parent has
Source: Jean Beth Eshtain, "Family Matters: The Plight of America's Children." The
Christian Century (July 1993): 14-21.
"A family structure index - a composite index based on the annual rate of children
involved in divorce and the percentage of families with children present that are female-headed - is a strong
predictor of suicide among young adult and adolescent white males."
Patricia L. McCall and Kenneth C. Land, "Trends in White Male Adolescent, Young-Adult, and Elderly Suicide:
Are There Common Underlying Structural Factors?" Social Science Research 23 (1994): 57-81
I hope you will find this information useful.
Gerald L. Rowles, Ph.D.
[Note: You may also want to look up
Prisoners in Their Own Homes: Male Victims of Elder Abuse, by Glenn Sacks, Santa
Clarita Signal (10/29/01.
See also the coverage of that
by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, who produced an excellent series of articles on the topic of fatal
elder abuse and neglect in US nursing homes (it is estimated that tens of tousands of cases happen each year),
Neglected to Death (Oct. 12 - 19, 2002). See abstract and commentary relating to the articles and to the problem of elder abuse and neglect
in nursing home and hospitals.) WHS]
Update 2004 06 24:
If you have concerns about these and other issues related to the condition of
seniors, visit, contact and perhaps even join:
SUN — Seniors United Now
The up- and coming, rapidly-growing advocacy organization
for seniors (55 years and over) in Alberta
There are in the order of about half a million or more people of age 55 and
over in Alberta. If all of them were to join SUN, they would become the most
powerful advocacy organization in Alberta; and seniors would no longer be robbed
of their comforts and otherwise ignored.
At the price of one package of cigarettes seniors will be able to
gain a voice that will be heard by a government that otherwise can and will take
from seniors what they worked for all their life to enjoy in their old age.
If you are concerned about how seniors are affected by the
systematic destruction of our families and society, a search
at google.com (for: elderly OR seniors OR grandparent OR grandfather OR grandmother
site:http://fathersforlife.org ) will provide you with the links to about 84 web pages at Fathers for Life that will be of interest to you.
The graphs shown on this page were constructed from
data shown at the web site of The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) and from US demographic
data published by the US Bureau of the Census.
The next graph shows the total number of suicide victims for the period in each age group.
The preceding graph shows that the numbers of the suicide victims in the age range for men 75 years old and older
is rapidly decreasing with each older age group. Keep in mind that the totals in the graph contain no time
element. The decreases with advancing age indicate a declining male population that is far out of proportion
with the female sector of the population at that age. After all, men do live on average about seven years less
than women do. The declining numbers of male suicide victims come from a rapidly declining population of men.
For example, as the following graphs illustrates, the number of men in the age group of 85 and over is very small in
relation to that of women in that age group.
See also the comprehensive set of graphs for USA population figures.
The preceding graphs tell quite a bit about a society that manages to reduce the male portion of its population, which
at birth is higher than that of the population of girls at birth, to that shown at the end of the human life-span.
The cross-over from a male superiority in numbers is reached at the end of the period during which most of male suicide
victims occur, when a given age cohort enters the age group 25 - 29, just after men negotiated the first period of high suicide risk in their life time.
From then on the male portion of the population continues its steady decline relative to the female portion of the
population in any given cohort, at a somewhat lower suicide rate, that will at age 60 - 64 reach the prior peak in suicide
rates that men experienced at age 20 - 24 and will in the years after 65 increase at an astonishing rate to levels that
in some years are larger than 70 per 100,000 almost one out of every 100 men.
Nevertheless, as can be seen from the following two graphs, the likelihood that older men who kill
themselves at a time that many thought all through their lives would be their golden age is increasing over the years
of the period. The number of suicides of men in that age group is also increasing at an increasing rate with
each older age group in the age range over 75 years.[Notes]
The suicide rates of the sexes in each of the age groups are expanded in a more comprehensive set of graphs.
The following graph indicates how much more often than by females, suicide is
committed by males in the various age groups.
From Suicide Rates of the Sexes by Age Groups]
The Web page Suicide Rates of the Sexes by Age Groups
contains a comprehensive set of graphs covering the suicide rates of the various age groups over the period from 1980 to 1996.
That web page contains the following:
USA Males, Relative Suicide Rates (same graph as the one
shown just above)
USA Suicide Rates of the sexes:
- All Ages, 1980 - 1996,
Averages for the Period from 1980 to 1996,
Ages 5 - 9,
Ages 10 - 14,
Ages 15 - 19,
Ages 20 - 24,
Ages 25 - 29,
Ages 30 - 34,
Ages 35 - 39,
Ages 40 - 44,
Ages 45 - 49,
Ages 50 - 54,
Ages 55 - 59,
Ages 60 - 64,
Ages 65 - 74,
Ages 75 - 84,
Suicide rates reflect the proportion of a given population that commits or committed suicide. The rates are generally so low that they are normalized by relating them to population groups of size 100,000 each to make them comprehensible and to permit meaningful and realistic comparisons between population groups.
If the calculation of a suicide rate is based on the standardized population of a given peer group, meaningful comparisons can be made between suicide rates of sub-groups within an age group to permit comparisons of the likelihood of each sub-group to commit suicide. These comparisons will permit to establish the determination of accurate relative risks of each sub-group, such as how likely an average man is to commit suicide as to the likelihood of an average woman in that group to kill herself, or, how many times more likely is a man within a population to commit suicide than is a woman.
On the other hand, if the calculation of a suicide rate is based on the overall population containing all sub-groups within the age group, such as members of both sexes within the age group 85 and over, then all we will learn from the suicide rates calculated for each sex is the likelihood that a given suicide victim within that age group is a man or a woman.
The suicide data posted at the NCIPC web site contains information on suicide rates that relates to the sexes in each age group. Unfortunately, those rates are calculated on the basis of the total population segment comprising both sexes in each age group. Therefore the suicide rates for men as well as for women are not quite accurate in any of the age groups, but on account of the small segment of men in the older age groups the rates are exceptionally misleading. They'll show, with respect to the overall population in each group, what proportion committed suicide but not how likely it is that a given man or woman commits suicide.
That may be acceptable for some demographers, but it isn't satisfactory for anyone who wants to know what proportion of men within the population of men in that age group committed suicide. Anyone who is truly concerned about the welfare of older men would care enough to want to know accurate suicide rates and not rates that contain a very serious bias.
To illustrate the fallacy in the "sex-specific" suicide rates at the NCIPC web site, consider an age group that consists of 99 women and one man.
According to the rules that were used to calculate the suicide rates shown at the NCIPC web site, if that single man were to kill himself, the corresponding suicide rate for men would be 1,000 per a population of 100,000 men and women -- a reason for concern. (As an aside, contrary to popular perception, the man would be
very likely to kill himself. Think about it.)
However, the true suicide rate for all men in that sector, extrapolated for men only and not for the general population, should be 100,000.
If three of the 99 women were to kill themselves, that would translate to a suicide rate of 3,000 when extrapolated to a population of 100,000 men and women, no doubt reason for even greater concern for the fate of women.
If the suicide rate for the women were to be extrapolated to a population of 100,000 women only, their standardized suicide rate is not much higher. It would then be 3,030.3 for a population of 100,000 women.
The relative risk for suicide that the population of men poses in relation to that of the population of women in the example case is correctly 100,000:3,030.3 or 33:1.
Men in that population would be 33 times more likely than women to commit suicide.
However, if the calculation of the respective suicide rates for the sexes were based on the routine used to calculate the suicide rates shown at the NCIPC web site, the relative risk for men in the population in the example would not be that but rather 1,000 to 3,000 or 0.33 to one. That would underestimate the correct relative risk for men by a factor of 99. That should be of great concern to anyone and be a serious incentive to perform the calculations correctly instead.
sex-specific suicide rates from the NCIPC web site were for that reason not reflected in any graphs here. However, true and specific rates that relate to each sex in each age group and year, calculated by using census figures and using the NCIPC data on suicide deaths for each age group and for the population of each sex within that, for each of the years of the period, are shown at the web page
Suicide Rates of the Sexes by Age Groups.
Posted: 1999 06 29
2000 01 07
2001 02 11 (format changes)
2001 12 29 (added reference to Prisoners in their own homes)
2002 01 12 (added comment comparing US male suicide numbers to numbers of US war-dead)
2002 10 20 (inserted reference to St. Louis Post-Dispatch series of articles on the killing of elderly in US nursing homes.)
2002 11 08 (added link to transcript of speech by Chris Erickson honouring Erin Pizzey)
2004 06 24 (added entry for SUN — Seniors United Now)
2013 02 13 (format changes)