Please be sure to read the data notes & limitations for these comments. The notes and limitations explains why only changes over time can be discussed as statistically significant and covers other topics such as how data were selected.

Overview of Findings

Findings for California were encouraging at final; overall mortality decreased, adolescent mortality due to motor vehicle crashes decreased slightly, and rates of homicide and suicide remained mostly flat with slight movement in a downward direction. Data for other objectives were unavailable.

Highlights of Findings by objective

Jump To: Mortality; Unintentional Injury; Violence; Substance Use and Mental Health


Overall mortality rates in California decreased from baseline to final as did mortality rates across age, gender and racial/ethnic groups.  Overall young adult rates remained flat with a small increase in mortality among young adult males, and a small decrease among females. There was, however, a marked decrease in mortality among young adult Black males.  Black adolescents and young adults had the highest rates of mortality, followed by Hispanics, Whites and then Asian/Pacific Islanders. Mortality among males overall at final was three times the rate among females.

Comparison with national data. California’s overall adolescent mortality rates were lower than the national rates.  Rates decreased among most groups in California as did rates nationally.  In contrast to California, where Black adolescents had the highest rates of mortality, Native American and Blacks had fairly comparable high rates nationally.  The national gender pattern was similar to California with older adolescent males more than two times as likely to die as females, and young adult males almost three times as likely as females.

Unintentional Injury

(motor vehicle crashes)

At final, adolescent mortality in California due to motor vehicle crashes (MVCs) was essentially flat among adolescents and increased somewhat among young adults, with males having twice the rate of females. Blacks experienced some decrease in rates and Hispanics experienced an increase; Hispanics had the highest rates of mortality due to MVC mortality, followed by Whites, and then Blacks and Asian/Pacific Islanders, who had similar rates.

Comparison with national data. Motor vehicle crash mortality among California adolescents at final was lower than the national rate, but had a similar ratio of male to female deaths.  Nationally Whites had the highest rates followed by Hispanics, the reverse of the pattern in California.




Homicide rates overall among adolescents in California remained almost flat from baseline.  However, there was a striking increase among older adolescent Black males, who were about three times more likely to die by homicide than Hispanic males in the same age group. Homicide rates among older adolescent males were about twelve times that of females in the same age group.

Comparison with national data. Older adolescent homicide mortality in California was slightly higher overall than the national rate at final; the rate for Black males in California was much higher than the national rate for that group.  The trend of little change in overall rates from baseline was fairly similar between California and national data; rates increased slightly among older adolescent Black males nationally, in contrast to the large increase for that group in California. The national gender pattern was similar to California, with older adolescent males about eight times more likely to die from homicide than females.


Substance Abuse and Mental Health


Suicide mortality remained fairly flat from baseline to final among older adolescents, overall and among subgroups with available data. Older adolescent males were about six times as likely as older adolescent females to die from suicide.

Comparison with national data. Adolescent suicide mortality in California was lower than the national rate at final.  Overall suicide trends for adolescents in California and nationally went in the same direction, with very small decreases in rates.  At final, the gender discrepancy in suicide rates nationally followed a similar pattern as in California.

Additional data may be available from the California’s Healthy Kids Survey: