Even though in 2006 the elderly (we’re starting with 65+ here) made up 12.5% of the population, they accounted for almost 15.9% of all suicides. The rates begin to increase in a group rather endearingly referred to as the ‘young-old,’ ages 65-85, and continues to increase among the (what else?) ‘old-old,’ at 85+. White men over 85 are the greatest risk of all age-gender-race groups. In 2006 their suicide rate was 2.5 times the rate for men of all ages, and was six times that of the general population.There were 15 suicides a day among the elderly in 2007, which added up to 5,475 a year. But the numbers were even higher in 2010, with a total of six to ten thousand committing suicide yearly, the vast majority with firearms.
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