From 2000 to 2015, 46.5% of all firearm-related deaths in California were suicides, resulting in 23,682 deaths. The rate in California has consistently been lower than the national rate. Since the statewide low in 2006, the rate increased by about 1%. In comparison, the US rate increased 17% over the same period.
Similar to firearm homicide, we found substantial disparities in firearm suicide rates between men and women, with the rate among men 8.5x higher than the rate among women on average over the study period. There were further disparities among men by race. White men consistently had the highest rate of firearm suicide. Since 2006, the sitewide low, the rate increase 10% among white men. The rate among Native American men increased about 80% since the early 2000s, but again, sparse data make it hard to draw firm conclusions. In contrast, the rate for black went down by 37% since 2008 (the most recent group-specific peak).
The rate of firearm suicide for white men increased drastically with age, following a much different trajectory over the life-course than any other racial/ethnic group. White men over 80 had a rate more than 5x that of Hispanic men, the group at next highest risk.
From 2011 to 2015, the number of deaths from firearm suicide among whites was more than 6x that of Hispanics, despite having roughly the same population size. (Population proportions: White=40%, Hispanic=38%, Asian=15%, Black=6%, Native Am=1%).