Kansas Violent Death Reporting System

About Kansas Violent Death Reporting System

The Kansas Violent Death Reporting System (KSVDRS) is a state-based surveillance system that compiles information on violent deaths from multiple sources into a usable, anonymous database. Combining data in a systematic manner provides a more complete picture of when, where, and how violent deaths occur.

Violence is preventable; working together we will reduce these numbers. Read more about what we are doing to reduce this number in The Role of Public Health in Addressing Suicide Prevention (PDF).

2017 Statistics

There were 719 violent deaths among Kansas residents captured by KSVDRS in 2017. Of these:

  • Suicides accounted for 73% (528) and is the second leading cause of death among age groups 15 to 24 and 25 to 44 years old
  • Homicides for 21% (152) and is the second leading cause of death among children aged 1 to 5 years old
  • An estimated medical and work loss cost due to both, suicide and homicide, was about $1.1 billion dollars

Groups at elevated risk of violent deaths are broken down by suicide and homicide as follows:


  • About 78% of suicide deaths were among males, who had 3.6 times the suicide rate of females (32.0 versus 9.0 per 100,000 persons)
  • Most suicides (84%) were among non-Hispanic Whites, who had the highest suicide rate (21.5 per 100,000 persons) among all races and ethnicities
  • Young and older adults from 3 age groups (25 to 34, 35 to 44, 45 to 54) had higher suicide rates than the average
  • Among those 18 years and older, for every non-veteran suicide, about 3 veterans died a suicide death
  • Regarding occupations among those 16 or more years, males in Farm/Forestry/Fishing had the highest suicide rate, 158.4 per 100,000 persons
  • Females workers in Healthcare Support had twice the suicide rate, 21.0 per 100,000 persons, of the average among female workers
  • About 3 in 10 females (16 or more years) who died by suicide did not have a paid position or were unemployed
  • Frontier (see Note 1) counties had higher suicide rate, 27.0 per 100,000 persons, than the KS average


  • Most homicide deaths (74%) were males, who had the 2.7 times the mortality rate of females (7.3 versus 2.7 per 100,000 persons)
  • People of color were more likely to die from homicide with a mortality rate 7.7 times that of Whites, and 2.8 times that of Hispanics
  • More than 2 in 3 (67%) homicide deaths were among those aged 15 to 44 years
  • The most common occupations among male workers were Construction/Extraction (27%), followed by unpaid (see Note 2) positions (17%), and Transportation/Material Moving (13%)
  • About 28% of female (16 or more years) who died by homicide worked unpaid (see Note 2)
  • Urban (see Note 1) counties experienced the highest homicide rates, 6.3 per 100,000 persons


  • Note 1: Peer counties grouped by population density in persons per square mile (ppsm); frontier < 6.0, rural 6.0 to 19.9, densely-settled rural 20.0 to 39.9, semi-urban 40.0 to 149.9, and urban ≥ 150.0.
  • Note 2: Unpaid: housewife, homemaker, student, disabled, volunteer, patient, inmate, and those who did no work.

The provided information is results solely from death certificates. Other KSVDRS data sources include:

  • Law enforcement reports
  • Coroner reports
  • Toxicology

To inform Kansas prevention and intervention efforts, additional data is needed to accurately piece together a range of factors surrounding violent deaths.