Why Are More Black Kids Suicidal? A Search for Answers.



A 2018 study found that while the suicide rate of Black children ages 5 to 12 was low, it was nearly twice that of white children in the same age group. In one of the most recent examples, a 10-year-old Black girl with autism died by suicide in Utah in early November. Her parents said she had been subjected to racist bullying by her classmates.

Among teenagers and young adults, suicide rates remain highest among whites, Native Americans and Alaska Natives. But while the suicide rate has recently declined among those groups, it has continued to rise among Black youths. From 2013 to 2019 the suicide rate of Black boys and men ages 15 to 24 rose by 47%, and by 59% for Black girls and women of the same age.


Deaths by suicide are more common among boys than girls overall, but a study published in September found that suicide rates among Black girls increased by an average of 6.6% each year from 2003 to 2017 — more than twice the increase for Black boys. A diagnosis of depression or anxiety was more common among the girls. Additionally, nearly 20% of the girls had engaged in an argument within 24 hours of their deaths.

Author(s): Christina Caron

Publication Date:18 Nov 2021

Publication Site: NYT