Black Populations

Black and African American are terms used to describe people descended from any of the Black racial groups of Africa.1 On this web page we use the term Black, and the data do not include people of Hispanic ethnicity. In 2018, Black populations composed an estimated 13.4% of the U.S. population.2


 Suicide Rates for Black Populations, United States 2009-2018 


At 7.2 per 100,000, the age-adjusted suicide rate for Black populations in 2018 was approximately half the overall U.S. suicide rate of 14.2 per 100,000.​3


 Suicide Rates for Black Populations by Age,  United States 2009-2018 


Among Black populations, suicide rates peak during adolescence and young adulthood, then decline. This is a different pattern than is seen in the overall U.S. population, where suicide rates peak in midlife.​3


 Suicide Death Rates for Black Populations by Sex, United States 2009-2018 


As in the overall U.S. population, the suicide death rate for men is more than three times the rate for women in Black populations. The suicide death rate for the overall U.S. population is approximately double that of Black populations for both males and females.​3


 Past-Year Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors for Adults in Black Populations, United States 2018 


Compared to the overall U.S. population, similar percentages of Black adults reported past-year serious thoughts of suicide, a past-year suicide plan, and a past-year suicide attempt.​4


Past-Year Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors for High School Youth in Black Populations, United States 2017 


Among high school youth, a smaller percentage of Black youth report seriously considering attempting suicide or making a suicide plan in the past year than the overall U.S. population. However, a higher percentage of Black youth have attempted suicide in the past year or made a suicide attempt requiring treatment when compared to the overall U.S. population.5



  1. U.S. Census Bureau. (2018). About Race. Retrieved from
  2. U.S. Census Bureau. (2018). Quick facts. Retrieved from
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. (2020). 1999-2018 Wide Ranging Online Data for Epidemiological Research (WONDER), Multiple Cause of Death files [Data file]. Retrieved from
  4. Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (2019). 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Detailed Tables. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Rockville, MD.
  5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System. (2017). 1991-2017 High School Youth Risk Behavior Survey Data [Data file]. Retrieved from ​

ThPowerPoint Icon Imagee 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.