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Chapter 4 - Suicide Demographics in the United States

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 October 2023

Meaghan Stacy
Affiliation:
Yale University, Connecticut
Jay Schulkin
Affiliation:
University of Washington
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Summary

With an understanding of the factors that may drive or protect against suicide and how they interact with physiological systems, we now turn to a discussion of what is known about suicide generally in the United States, specifically among various demographic groups. Suicide claimed 45,979 American lives in 2020, and US suicide rates have, until recently, increased while any other countries’ rates decreased. This chapter highlights what is known about the demographics of suicide in terms of age, race and ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity, as well as geography and location. We also highlight the limitations of this knowledge given that many diverse subgroups are aggregated into higher-order categories, small sample sizes limit knowledge of certain groups, and that many intersecting identities have been overlooked. While a single chapter is unable to cover all aspects of intersecting identities, attempts are made to highlight how intersections and multiple marginalization can compound suicide risk.

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Chapter
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Understanding Suicide in the United States
A Social, Biological, and Psychological Perspective
, pp. 47 - 65
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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