Suicide is an important public health problem in China: It is the fifth leading cause of death in China, and suicide in China accounts for over 30% of the world’s overall suicide deaths. The substantial burden due to suicide has not been well recognized. This study aims to provide an estimate of the socioeconomic burden of the suicide problem in China in terms of years of life lost (YLL) and to discuss its implications. Suicide rates and the related YLL by age, gender, and region (urban/rural) from 1990 to 2000 were estimated using the most recent data from the Ministry of Health of China. The suicide rate in rural China was three times higher than that in urban areas. Suicide completers in rural areas shared 90% of total YLL. Rural women aged 25Ð39 years contributed the largest share of YLL. Our results show that some population subgroups contributed a disproportionate share to the disease burden of suicide. National strategies for suicide prevention should include targeted programs in catering the need of these specified subgroups in China.