Asian, Native Hawaiian, and Other Pacific Islander Populations

People who are descended from the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent are referred to as Asian. People who are descended from any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands are referred to as Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander.1 However, most national suicide mortality data combine people of Asian, Native Hawaiian, and other Pacific Islander descent into one group that is usually called Asian or Pacific Islander, which is why combined data for deaths are presented here. The data on this web page do not include people of Hispanic ethnicity. In 2018, Asian groups made up an estimated 5.9% of the U.S. population, and Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander groups made up an estimated 0.2%.2


 

 Suicide Rates for Asian or Pacific Islander Populations, United States 2011-2020 

At 6.8 per 100,000, the age-adjusted suicide rate for Asian or Pacific Islander populations in 2020 was just under half the overall U.S. suicide rate of 13.5 per 100,000.2

 

 Suicide Rates for Asian or Pacific Islander Populations by Age, United States 2011-2020 

In Asian or Pacific Islander populations, suicide rates are second-highest in the 15-to-24 age group and then peak later in life (85+). This is a different pattern than is seen in the overall U.S. population, where suicide rates increase from age 15 to 54, decrease until age 74, and then start an upward trend at age 75 to 85+.2

 

 Suicide Rates for Asian or Pacific Islander Populations by Sex, United States 2011-2020 

In Asian or Pacific Islander populations, the suicide death rate for men is more than double the rate for women (10.5 vs. 4, respectively). Among males, the suicide death rate for the overall U.S. population is higher than the rate for Asian or Pacific Islander populations.2

 

 Past-Year Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors for Adults in Asian and Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander Populations, 2020 

Compared to the overall U.S. population, a lower percentage of Asian and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander adults report past-year serious thoughts of suicide or a past-year suicide plan. However, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander adults report a greater percentage of past-year suicide attempt than the Asian population and the overall U.S. population.​1

 

 Past-Year Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors for High School Youth in Asian and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Populations, 2019 

Among high school youth, there are similar percentages for seriously considering attempting suicide or making a suicide plan in the past year than in the overall U.S. population. Percentages of past-year attempted suicide and suicide attempt requiring treatment are slightly lower for Asian youth than for the overall U.S. population.​3

 

References

  1. Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (2021). 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Detailed Tables. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Rockville, MD. Retrieved from https://www.samhsa.gov/data/report/2020-nsduh-detailed-tables
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. (2021). 1999-2020 Wide Ranging Online Data for Epidemiological Research (WONDER), Multiple Cause of Death files [Data file]. Retrieved from http://wonder.cdc.gov/ucd-icd10.html
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System. (2021). 1991-2019 High School Youth Risk Behavior Survey Data [Data file]. Retrieved from http://nccd.cdc.gov/youthonline/

PowerPoint Icon Image The charts and graphs in this section are also available as a PowerPoint slide set. Feel free to use this slide set to deliver a presentation about the scope of the suicide problem.