Tyler Clementi Death and 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

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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