ATLANTA — An eleven-year study shows the most likely suicide victim in America is white, male and younger than ever before.
According to the latest available Centers for Disease Control data, the most likely suicide victim in America is:
--Male: More than 72% of all U.S. suicides between 1970 and 1980 occurred among males.
--White: White Americans committed suicide at a rate of 12.1 per 100,000 between 1970 and 1980, almost twice the 6.7 per 100,000 rate for other groups.
--Younger than before: The median age--the middle line, when plotting the ages of all suicide victims--was 39.9 years in 1980, down "sharply" from 47.2 years in 1970. More than one-third of all males committing suicide in this country in 1980 were under 30.
--Not necessarily a victim of recognizable psychological depression: "It looks like most of the kids who commit suicide probably are not depressed, at least by any clinical criteria," said Mark Rosenberg, a CDC specialist on suicide and violence.
--Someone with access to a gun: Fifty-seven percent of the U.S. suicides in 1980 were accomplished with firearms.