Where Did The Missing Suicides Go?


Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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7 Responses

  1. Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

    This was an extremely interesting analysis and I don’t degree with his methodology… We keep hearing that the suicide rate is going up among teens, especially girls. I wonder if this also aligns with other countries? I’m 100% convinced it is tied to social media, and they also have social media, though I won’t pretend to know anything about how social media is used by teens in other countries. Do they bully each other in the same ways?Report

    • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

      In absolute terms (suicides per 100,000), it looks like the suicide rate has increased more for boys 15-19 since 2007 than for girls of the same age, but because girls started from a much lower base, it’s a greater increase in proportional terms. But you know how the media are: 75% of Teenage Suicide Victims are Boys; Girls Hit Hardest.

      Social media could play a role, but I think an opioid-related story might also check out, opioid use being a risk factor for suicide.Report

    • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

      I question the methodology. We take three states (read: points on the graph) selected for being the most extreme, exclude one because we don’t like it, and compare the two remaining points to other points that we’ll choose because reasons.

      Our conclusion is going to be what we wanted to conclude… except maybe it wasn’t as anti-gun as we wanted so we’ll just claim we should have done better.Report

  2. Avatar Dark Matter says:

    Hawaii needs to be excluded because it’s gun ownership rate is MUCH lower than the other states (half of MA or NJ), but it’s suicide rate is much higher. That says uncomfortable things and goes uncomfortable places… like maybe culture and other things are much greater drivers of suicide than guns.Report

  3. Avatar Road Scholar says:

    1. Suicide is a complex, multi-variate phenomenon. No one serious would say otherwise.

    2. You can’t separate gun availability from “culture”. Gun availability is a facet of culture.

    3. Studies have shown that most people who unsuccessfully attempt suicide are highly unlikely to ever make another attempt. Guns are a highly effective means to successfully kill yourself because they’re specifically designed to kill — that’s why hunters and soldiers carry them around.Report

  4. Avatar pillsy says:

    The ethnic diversity thing is confounded by the gun thing, since gun ownership rates are higher among whites than blacks, and way higher among whites than Hispanics.

    The gun thing also plays a significant role in the gender disparity for suicide.Report