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Suicide rates climb 40% in past two decades

Posted by / January 26, 2020

Suicide rates have risen 40% in the United States in the past two decades or so, with blue collar workers at the highest risk.

The rise in suicide rates coincides with a global loss of faith in the economic system. The majority of people living in the developed world are losing faith in capitalism. The problem basically boils down to this: the wealth gap has become both so extreme and so well publicized that the average person no longer feels like they can succeed by working hard.

This declining faith in the economic system might explain the rise in depression, angst, and ennui in the developed world. In 2017, 14 out of every 100,000 people took their own lives. That’s the highest number of suicides per capita since World War Two, and a whopping 33% increase since 1999.

The spike in suicides raises challenging questions. Suicides are on the rise among a variety of demographics, so it’s not just one group of people suffering. Males tend to commit suicide more often than women––a historical trend that still holds true––but suicides among women are rising more quickly than among men. Since 1999%, for example, there has been a 57% increase of suicides among women compared to 26% among men. Young girls between 10-14 are seeing the sharpest increase of any other age group.

Just as there is no single group driving the suicide epidemic, there is also no single cause. Opioid use is certainly one reason for the rise of suicides. Social media may also be a major contributor––social media causes a feedback loop of hollow, unsatisfying facsimiles of social interactions. As these tainted interactions come to supplant real interactions, people are bound to suffer.

More about health.

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