While we don’t know exactly why the suicide rate in men is much higher than in other genders, age, ethnicity, occupation, and the stigma of male mental health care are some contributing factors.
The higher suicide rate among men is a consistent trend.
There are lots of potential reasons for this trend. While some progress has been made to lower the men’s suicide rate, more work is needed to address men’s mental health overall.
If you want to know more about the men’s suicide rate, why it’s so high, and what you can do to help, keep reading.
You’ll notice that the language used to share stats and other data points is pretty binary, fluctuating between “male” and “men.”
Although we typically avoid language like this, specificity is key when reporting on research participants and clinical findings.
Unfortunately, the studies and surveys referenced in this article didn’t usually report data on, or include, participants who were transgender, nonbinary, gender nonconforming, genderqueer, agender, or genderless.
According to the
In that same year, the suicide rate among men was almost four times higher than the suicide rate among women. While men make up around 50% of the U.S. population, they comprise nearly 80% of suicides.
However, some groups of men have a higher risk of suicide than others. Suicide rates differ between ages, ethnicities, gender identities and sexual orientations, and occupations.
For men, suicide rates
According to the
In 2021, 9% of high school students attempted suicide during the previous 12 months, reports the CDC. However, girls (12.4%) were more likely to attempt suicide than boys (5.3%).
Race and geography
Male suicide rates
Sexuality and gender
A 2022 survey by The Trevor Project indicates that almost half (45%) of LGBTQ+ youth seriously considered suicide in the past year. During that time frame, 28% of cisgender LGBTQ+ men and 59% of transgender LGBTQ+ men considered suicide, with 6% of cisgender LGBTQ+ men and 22% of transgender LGBTQ+ men attempting suicide.
A 2022 study with transgender teenagers in Canada found that this group is 7.6 times more likely to attempt suicide.
There’s also a higher rate of suicide among veterans. A 2021 study indicates that over 30,000 veterans of post-9/11 wars died by suicide compared with just over 7,000 who were killed in the conflict.
It’s predominantly male veterans who die by suicide, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.
- oil and gas extraction
- transportation and warehousing
The current studies on the suicide rates of people with disabilities are limited. However, a study from 2021 reports that adults with disabilities were significantly more likely to experience suicidal ideation, planning, or attempts.
You’re not alone
While some demographics are more likely to die by or attempt suicide than others, suicidal ideation can affect anyone.
If you’re in the United States and need someone to talk with, you can call 988 to reach the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline 24 hours a day.
There are lots of potential contributing factors toward suicide, so there’s no simple answer to this question — particularly as
It might be that depression in men goes underreported because men are less likely to reach out and get help. There’s still a stigma surrounding male mental health and that men should not express their emotions.
If men are less likely to seek support, there’s an increased likelihood that mental health concerns can get severe and potentially lead to suicide.
Research suggests that women are more likely to attempt suicide than men, but men are more likely to die by suicide.
This might be because men may opt for more violent suicide methods, particularly in countries where people are more likely to own firearms. In the United States, for example, over half of gun owners are men, and over half of suicides involve firearms, according to a 2022 study.
It’s important to consider how suicide rates differ between male groups. LGBTQ+ men, for example, have a
Similarly, older men have a higher risk of suicide than younger men. This may be due to factors like isolation and loneliness.
Everyone can help lower men’s suicide rates on both a micro and a macro level.
First, you can directly support the men in your life. Keep an eye out for signs and symptoms of depression, and let them know you’re there for them. Take any potential signs of suicidal ideation seriously.
Make sure the men in your life know where they can go for support, be it friends and family, their doctor, a therapist, or local organizations.
On a macro level, we can help lower the men’s suicide rate by continuing to remove the stigma. While progress has been made over the years, and men are more comfortable speaking out and expressing themselves, there’s still a long way to go.
Pursuing therapy is a vital aspect of mental health. It’s important to normalize going to therapy as a man.
Increased availability of mental health care can further help lower suicide rates in men and improve their overall quality of life.
Addressing issues like homophobic and transphobic discrimination, systematic racism, and social isolation among older men in your community can also help lower suicide rates.
If you need support, many organizations are ready to help:
- Mental Health America offers a range of mental health resources.
- You can reach the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.
- You can contact the Disaster Distress Helpline at 800-985-5990 if you’re experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters.
If you think you or a loved one might be in immediate crisis, call the 998 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline or 911, or go to your nearest emergency room.
The men’s suicide rate is much higher than the suicide rates in other genders. While some progress has been made to lower this rate, more work must be done.
This might seem like a large and daunting task, but there are many things we can all do to help. It starts with reaching out to and supporting the men in our lives.
If you are dealing with difficult mental health concerns yourself, know you are not alone. Reach out for support now.