On 26 September 2018, the VA released national-level and state-level findings from its most recent analysis of veteran suicide data, from 2005 to 2016. On average, about 20 current or former service members die each day; 6 have been in VA healthcare and 14 had not.From 2015 to 2016, the overall current and former servicemember suicide count decreased from 7,663 to 7,298 deaths, a decrease of 365; the veteran-specific suicide count decreased from 6,281 to 6,079 deaths, a decrease of 202; and from 2015 to 2016, the veteran unadjusted suicide rate decreased from 30.5/100,000 to 30.1/100,000.
Though the data showed the rates of suicide to be highest among younger veterans (ages 18-34) and lowest among older veterans (ages 55 and older), because the older veteran population is the largest, this group accounted for 58.1 percent of veteran suicide deaths in 2016. The rate of suicide among 18-34-year-old veterans continues to increase. The report showed that the use of firearms as a method of suicide remains high, with the percentage of suicide deaths involving firearms at 69.4 percent in 2016.
The “VA National Suicide Data Report 2005–2016,” and the accompanying state data sheets are available at:courtesy VVA