November 7, 2012

New research finds increase in U.S. suicide rate since recession

An important piece of new research has found that the United States suicide rate rose sharply in the years since the recession started.

A report published Sunday by the Lancet, a medical journal, showed the rate rose four times faster between 2008 and 2010 than in the eight years leading up to the recession. During the recessionary period, researchers estimate there were 4,750 excess suicide deaths.

The research team used data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to find a link between the suicide rate and unemployment in all regions of the country. Every rise of 1 percent in unemployment was accompanied by an increase of roughly 1 percent in the suicide rate, the New York Times reports.

The impact of the economy on suicides in Wisconsin was explored in a 2010 story by then-intern Sara Jerving at the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism.

See the Center’s award-winning coverage of Wisconsin’s high suicide rate and elevated rates of suicide among Native Americans below:

Wisconsin suicide toll rises, exceeds rates of neighboring states

A Tribal Tragedy: High Native American suicide rates persist

 

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