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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Suicide rate by country

Here is a list of the suicide rates by country, from Wikipedia:

It's an interesting list. As in the United States (see previous post), the rate of suicide for men was much higher than that for women, ranging from roughly three to six times as high.

The country with the highest rate was Lithuania, at 30.7 per 100,000 population (55.9 for men and 9.1 for women). Lithuania is a relatively small country, though, with a population of 3.5 million, and tiny countries tend to be outliers on these types of charts. (Look at the list of longevity by country, and Andorra will rank first, ahead of Macau and Japan, but Andorra has a population of 73,000, so it hardly counts as a country. And Macau itself is pretty small as well.)

Second is Belarus, at 28.3 (63.3 and 10.3). Third is Kazakhstan, at 26.9. The latest year for which data were available for Kazakhstan was 2007; Borat was released in 2006. Coincidence? Maybe.

Japan, the land of hara kiri, ranks fourth at 24.4. Fifth is Russia, at 23.1. One has to wonder if the rate has gone up or down since the fall of the Soviet Union. (My guess is up.)

And sixth is Guyana, at 22.9. One has to assume the rate there was considerably higher back in 1978, the year the Reverend Jim Jones had his followers drink the Kool Aid.

The five countries with the lowest rates -- Honduras, Jordan, St. Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, and Haiti -- all have a rate of 0.0.

Being in Haiti has never been my idea of perfect happiness. But evidently appearances are deceiving.

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