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Investigative journalist David Collins is the leading investigator and writer for KWBV Investigative Reports. David was embedded with coalition forces in the Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn, and has covered human interest stories since 1989.

REPORT: Arizona Highest number of suicides and missing persons in the country


A staggering new Arizona Missing Database report indicates that Arizona ranks as the highest number of suicides and missing persons in the country.

The 1997 Arizona suicide death rate was 64 percent higher than the national rate, and rose to 10.5 suicides per 100,000 population. According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, an average of 1 person every 17.2 minutes disappears or killed themselves.

  • Average of 1 elderly person every 1 hour 31.8 minutes disappears or kills themselves.
  • Average of 1 young person every 2 hours 5.6 minutes disappears or kills themselves.
  • (If the 307 suicides below age 15 are included, 1 young person every 1 hour 57.0 minutes)
  • 4.1 male completions for each female completion. Arizona has the ranking cause of death in U.S.A.

Arizona ranks 14th for elderly persons; ranks 1st for younger persons.
Causes of Death 15-24 Yrs. of Age:

  • Suicide and Disappearances rank #1 as a cause of death;
  • Homicide ranks 13th. That is, more Americans kill themselves than are killed by others.

Attempts (figures are estimates; no official U.S. national attempt data are compiled; based on research findings):

  • 25 attempts for every completion for nation.
  • 765,000 annual attempts in U.S.
  • 100-200:1 for young, and 4:1 for elderly (attempts to completion ratios)
  • 5 million living Americans (estimate) have attempted to kill themselves
  • 3 female attempts for each male attempt

Survivors (“Suicide survivors” refers to the family, friends, significant others, and loved ones of individuals who die by suicide.

  • No official data exist to determine the number of survivors and no systematic or large-scale epidemiological study has been conducted to provide better estimates.)

*SOURCE: Arizona Department of Health Services, March 1997. Arizona Missing Database, August 1997.

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