Bloomberg has a neat data visualization out.
There’s one problem, on page 12/slide 12, they go from talking about causes of death per capita to causes of death as an absolute value.
This makes the rise in suicides seem kind of alarming. 26,869 suicides in 1980, 38,364 in 2014! What’s going on?
But the population was 226,542,199 in 1980 and it’s 317,300,000 ish this year.
So that’s a suicide rate of… well, we’ll leave the math up to the reader.
The absolute number of suicides has gone way up, but the rate hasn’t gone up much at all. Although suicide is now the number one cause of violent death (according to slide 14)… what that tells us is that other causes of violent death are probably going down a lot, not that suicide is necessarily a much bigger problem now than it was in 1980.
(edited to add: image found here)