10.01.10

The Most Suicidal States

The heartbreaking death of Tyler Clementi has turned the nation’s attention to the causes and consequences of suicide. The Daily Beast looks at which areas of the country have the highest rate.

The tragic end to the life of Tyler Clementi, the Rutgers student who killed himself after being tormented by fellow students, has renewed attention on the prevalence of suicide. The tenth leading cause of death in the U.S., suicide accounts for nearly 35,000 deaths annually. According to the most recent report of national death statistics, released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in May, the national rate of suicide in 2007 was 11.5 per 100,000 people.

Suicide has become a major topic on college campuses across the country. Although the suicide rate of college students—7.5 per 100,000—is less than the national rate, suicide remains the second leading cause of death among college students, after car accidents. Nearly 1,100 students every year take their own lives. According to the Jed Foundation, a college suicide prevention program, one in 10 college students has considered suicide. As well, a 2002 study released by the American College Health Association estimated that 1.5 of every 100 students has attempted suicide.

Suicide can’t be traced back to a single cause, but it certainly occurs in certain areas more than others. To look at what regions across the country have the highest occurrence of deaths by intentional self-harm, The Daily Beast combed the most recent data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The data reflect deaths by suicide for 2007, ranked by per-capita rate.

1. Alaska
Deaths: 149
Rate per 100,000: 21.8

2. Montana
Deaths: 196
Rate per 100,000: 20.5

3. New Mexico
Deaths: 401
Rate per 100,000: 20.4

4, Wyoming
Deaths: 101
Rate per 100,000: 19.3

5. Nevada
Deaths: 471
Rate per 100,000: 18.4

6, Colorado
Deaths: 811
Rate per 100,000: 16.7

7. West Virginia
Deaths: 300
Rate per 100,000: 16.6

8. Arizona
Deaths: 1,016
Rate per 100,000: 16.0

9. Oregon
Deaths: 594
Rate per 100,000: 15.9

10. Kentucky
Deaths: 649
Rate per 100,000: 15.3

11. Idaho
Deaths: 223
Rate per 100,000: 14.9

11. North Dakota
Deaths: 95
Rate per 100,000: 14.9

13. Oklahoma
Deaths: 531
Rate per 100,000: 14.7

14. Maine
Deaths: 191
Rate per 100,000: 14.5

15. Utah
Deaths: 378
Rate per 100,000: 14.3

15. Vermont
Deaths: 89
Rate per 100,000: 14.3

17. Arkansas
Deaths: 402
Rate per 100,000: 14.2

17. Florida
Deaths: 2,587
Rate per 100,000: 14.2

19. Kansas
Deaths: 382
Rate per 100,000: 13.8

20. Missouri
Deaths: 808
Rate per 100,000: 13.7

20. Tennessee
Deaths: 844
Rate per 100,000: 13.7

22. Mississippi
Deaths: 396
Rate per 100,000: 13.6

23. Washington
Deaths: 865
Rate per 100,000: 13.4

24. Wisconsin
Deaths: 729
Rate per 100,000: 13.0

25. Alabama
Deaths: 592
Rate per 100,000: 12.8

25. South Dakota
Deaths: 102
Rate per 100,000: 12.8

27. Indiana
Deaths: 790
Rate per 100,000: 12.5

28. Louisiana
Deaths: 522
Rate per 100,000: 12.2

29. New Hampshire
Deaths: 158
Rate per 100,000: 12.0

29. South Carolina
Deaths: 530
Rate per 100,000: 12.0

31. North Carolina
Deaths: 1,077
Rate per 100,000: 11.9

32. Pennsylvania
Deaths: 1,441
Rate per 100,000: 11.6

33. Virginia
Deaths: 880
Rate per 100,000: 11.4

34. Ohio
Deaths: 1,295
Rate per 100,000: 11.3

35. Michigan
Deaths: 1,131
Rate per 100,000: 11.2

36. Delaware
Deaths: 95
Rate per 100,000: 11.0

36. Minnesota
Deaths: 572
Rate per 100,000: 11.0

38. Iowa
Deaths: 322
Rate per 100,000: 10.8

39. Georgia
Deaths: 997
Rate per 100,000: 10.4

39. Hawaii
Deaths: 133
Rate per 100,000: 10.4

41. Nebraska
Deaths: 181
Rate per 100,000: 10.2

41. Texas
Deaths: 2,433
Rate per 100,000: 10.2

43. California
Deaths: 3,602
Rate per 100,000: 9.9

44. Maryland
Deaths: 518
Rate per 100,000: 9.2

45. Rhode Island
Deaths: 96
Rate per 100,000: 9.1

46. Illinois
Deaths: 1,108
Rate per 100,000: 8.6

47. Massachusetts
Deaths: 516
Rate per 100,000: 8.0

48. Connecticut
Deaths: 271
Rate per 100,000: 7.7

49. New York
Deaths: 1,396
Rate per 100,000: 7.2

50. New Jersey
Deaths: 596
Rate per 100,000: 6.9

51. District of Columbia
Deaths: 36
Rate per 100,000: 6.1