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Top 10 States for Suicide: Do You Live in One?

Suicide is a popular way to die in the United States. It’s the 11th cause of total deaths. But which state has the most suiciders?

Well, there’s two ways to look at the numbers. One is just by sheer numbers, and the other is by rates, which is number of suicides in comparison to the state’s population. The rates are more scientific in determining the likelihood of one committing suicide out of every 100,000 people. Of course though, seeing the numbers can be more emotionally exciting.

So let’s get down to it by rates

In 2004, the top state for suicide is Montana at a rate of 22.This surprises me because after all what’s so horrible about living in Montana that people want to kill themselves? Could it be the wide open spaces? The fresh air? Or maybe it has to do with gun ownership? When the preferred method of suicide is firearms, 52%, and the most likely demographic to commit suicide is white men, 72%, and then add that Montana has a gun ownership rate of 57.7, the 3rd highest in the country, the three factors at least show a correlation, if not a causal relationship. White gun-toting men in Montana know how to do it.

Second is Nevada with a rate of 19.9. Well, there’s no surprise there. Forgive me, I’m not using any numbers to back my opinion up, but I think it’s common sense to connect suicide with gambling. Losing everything through gambling sounds like a decent motivation for suicide, then add gambling addicts in Las Vegas, and please.

Alaska’s third at 19.7. You know it’s dark and cold there, really cold. It’s dark almost all day during the winter and light all day in the summer. Now winter is during the holidays when people are more likely to commit suicide already. Then add dark days and cold to the holiday season. Brrrrrrr.

Now, let’s look at the highest numbers. California had the highest number at 3,206 suicides in 2004, yet its rate is only 8.9 (42 out 51). It’s in the ten lowest states. Next is Texas with 2, 418 at a rate of 10.6, tied for 38 out of 51. Then, Florida comes in with 2,347 with a rate of 13.2 in a 3 way tie for 18 out of 51.

Florida is a little worrisome since its rate is above the national average of 11.Not only that it contradicts my reasoning behind suicide in dark, cold Alaska since Florida is comparatively sunny and warm, yet Florida is the retirement state and suicide rates among the elderly, 65+, are the highest of any age at 14.7

One glaring connection stands out for me in the top ten list. Five of the states, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, South Dakota, and Idaho in that order, are in the top ten list for gun ownership. Another connection is that Arizona a popular retirement state is in the top ten. Any ideas about what’s going on in Colorado, New Mexico, or Oregon?

Here’s the top ten list, which includes the number of deaths and rate.

  • Montana [M] (2T) ………………….. 206 ………..22.0
  • Nevada [M] (2T) ……………………. 480 ………..19.9
  • Alaska [P] (1). ……………………….. 131. ……….19.7
  • New Mexico [M] (4). ……………… 342. ……….17.7
  • Wyoming [M] (5). ……………………. 90. ……….17.7
  • Colorado [M] (6). …………………… 800. ……….17.1
  • Idaho [M] (7) ………………………….228 ………..16.0
  • Arizona [M] (11). …………………….945. ……….15.9
  • South Dakota [WNC] (13). ……… 121. ……….15.6
  • Oregon [P] (10) ……………………… 560 ………..15.4

 

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User Comments
  1. SeXy BaCk

    On May 15, 2008 at 1:05 pm


    yes i do live in one and we have a low crime rate but our sucides…… we have alot

  2. anonymous

    On May 20, 2008 at 9:04 pm


    there are 50 states the last time i checked!

  3. anonymous

    On June 7, 2008 at 5:14 pm


    I think he/she is counting Puerto Rico.

  4. Renier Moor

    On June 8, 2008 at 11:45 am


    Sorry didn’t mean to throw my readers off. The numbers include the District of Columbia, more commonly known as Washington, DC. It’s the capital of the United States, but not an official state. I included it in the statistics because the source that I used from the American Association of Suicidology included it.

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