For Release: Monday, September 30, 2019
One Third of Latino Suicide Deaths Involved a Firearm
Para la versión en español haga “click” aquí.
Washington, DC — From 1999 to 2016, more than 10,000 Hispanics/Latinos lost their lives to suicide in California. Of these, one third of the deaths involved a firearm, according to Hispanic/Latino Suicide in California, a new study from the Violence Policy Center (VPC) released today during National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.
Funded by the Hope and Heal Fund, a collaborative fund to stop gun violence in California, the study offers an overview of the impact of suicide on Hispanics/Latinos in California and the role played by firearms.
In addition to data for Hispanics/Latinos of all ages, the study also focuses on the 10 to 24 year old age group. The study also presents suicide data for other races/ethnicities in California — white, black, Asian/Pacific Islander, and American Indian/Alaska Native.
VPC Executive Director Josh Sugarmann states, “Far too often, violent death involving Latinos in California and across the nation is viewed almost solely through the lens of homicide. The significant toll suicide, including firearms suicide, exacts on the Latino community is often ignored.”
Among the study’s findings are the following.
FOR HISPANICS OF ALL AGES IN CALIFORNIA:
• From 1999 to 2016, 10,445 Hispanics died from suicide in California. Of these, 33 percent (3,402) died in firearm suicides.
• Gun suicides represented 20 percent of all Hispanic gun deaths in California during the period 1999 to 2016.
• From 1999 to 2016, 8,624 Hispanic males died from suicide in California. Of these, 36 percent (3,124) died in firearm suicides.
• From 1999 to 2016, 1,821 Hispanic females died from suicide in California. Of these, 15 percent (278) died in firearm suicides.
FOR HISPANICS AGES 10 to 24 IN CALIFORNIA:
• From 1999 to 2016, 2,556 Hispanics ages 10 to 24 died from suicide in California. Of these, 32 percent (814) died in firearm suicides.
• Gun suicides represented 11 percent of all gun deaths in California for Hispanics ages 10 to 24 during the period 1999 to 2016.
• From 1999 to 2016, 2,061 Hispanic males ages 10 to 24 died from suicide in California. Of these, 36 percent (747) died in firearm suicides.
• From 1999 to 2016, 495 Hispanic females ages 10 to 24 died from suicide in California. Of these, 14 percent (67) died in firearm suicides.
Additional information for both age groups and sexes contained in the study includes year by year totals as well as relevant suicide rates per 100,000.
Hispanic/Latino Suicide in California utilizes data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
For the English language version of the study, see: http://www.vpc.org/studies/CAlatinosuicide.pdf
For the Spanish language version of the study, see: http://www.vpc.org/studies/CAlatinosuicideesp.pdf.
Hispanic/Latino Suicide in California is drawn from the February 2019 VPC study Lethal Hispanic/Latino Firearm Victimization in California, which details the disproportionate impact of lethal gun violence on Hispanics/Latinos in California. For more information related to this prior report please see http://www.vpc.org/CAlatino.
The definitions used in Hispanic/Latino Suicide in California are dictated by the terms utilized by government agencies in the collection of information. The Violence Policy Center recognizes the role played by language and the importance of identity language. We understand that the population included within the term Hispanic may not identify with this label. While this term is used throughout this research to remain consistent with the data as reported, our intent is not to reiterate or endorse any implications that may accompany it. Hopefully, in the near future data collection will become more sensitive and responsive to relevant terminology and identity language, such as Latino/a or Latinx.
The Violence Policy Center is a national nonprofit educational organization that conducts research and public education on violence in America and provides information and analysis to policymakers, journalists, advocates, and the general public. Follow the Violence Policy Center on Facebook and follow @VPCinfo on Twitter.
The Hope and Heal Fund is the only collaborative fund committed to preventing gun violence in California. The Hope and Heal Fund invests in innovative, strategic and evidence-based solutions to prevent gun violence, by harnessing the collective power of individuals, communities, government and philanthropy to ensure homes and communities in California are safe and free from gun death, injury and trauma. For more information about the Hope and Heal Fund, please visit hopeandhealfund.org and follow @HopeandHealFund on Twitter.