What does this measure?
Deaths due to suicide, expressed as a rate per 10,000 residents.
Why is this important?
In addition to ending a life tragically, suicide profoundly affects the lives of surviving relatives and friends. While over 40,000 people die from suicide in the U.S. each year, it can often be prevented through education, mental health services, and public awareness.
How is our county doing?
In 2014, Essex County had a suicide rate of 0.8 deaths per 10,000 residents, up from 0.7 in 2000. That reflects an increase in the number of suicides from 53 to 68, though the numbers fluctuated and the rise was not steady. The rate in Essex County was similar to the state rate and lower than the national rate of 1.3 per 10,000 in 2014.
How do we compare to similar counties?
All comparison areas had increases in their suicide rates since 2000 and by 2014 all were at similar levels but below the national level. Essex County had the smallest increase (15%), while Westchester, NY had the greatest increase, more than doubling to 0.7 in 2014. Middlesex, MA and Lake, IL had increases of 59% and 39% in their suicide rates.
Notes about the data
County rates are sometimes based on small numbers of events in each year, and therefore can fluctuate greatly. Data for this indicator are released annually in May.