A new study by SeniorLiving.org shows New Mexico has the 4th highest suicide rate in America with 23.6 suicides per 100,000 people. And, since 1999, the New Mexico Department of Health reports the suicide firearm rate has been on average 2.4 times higher than the homicide firearm rate.
From 2013-2017, twenty New Mexico counties had age-adjusted suicide rates that were significantly higher than the 2016 U.S. rate. New Mexico counties with the highest suicide rates included Catron, Hidalgo, Grant and Sierra Counties in the Southwest; Quay County in the Southeast; and Taos, San Miguel and Torrance Counties in the Northeast.
Suicide rates in the U.S. have grown by 20% in the last decade and are at the highest level since 1942 with 14 suicides per 100,000 people.
Key findings from the study:
- New Mexico’s suicide rate has increased by 33.3% since 1999, which marks the 37th most substantial increase of any state over this time.
- Native Americans have the highest suicide rate of any race with 22 per 100,000. Followed by whites (17.8%), Hispanics (7.3%), black at 6.8% and Asian (6.7%)
- America has the 5th highest suicide rate of wealthy countries (14 per 100,000). Russia ranks No. 1 (26.5) following by South Korea (20.2), India (16.5) and Japan (14.3).
- Firearms were the most used method for both men (56%) and women (31.2%) followed by suffocation/hanging and drug poisoning.
- Suicide rates were higher for people not married and those living in places with lower population density.
- Firearm deaths were defined by underlying cause of death based on the International Classification of Diseases, version 10 (ICD-10) codes. All rates are per 100,000, age-adjusted to the 2000 U.S. standard population.
- New Mexico Death Data: Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics (BVRHS), New Mexico Department of Health.
- Population Estimates: University of New Mexico, Geospatial and Population Studies (GPS) Program, http://gps.unm.edu/
If you suspect someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, help them call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.