Suicide Rates Higher in Happy Places
Suicide rates tend to be higher in happier places, according to a new study detailed in Science Daily.
The study, entitled "Dark Contrasts: The Paradox of High Rates of Suicide in Happy Places,” draws on research from the UK and the US, showing that the countries and US states where people report a high degree of happiness and satisfaction also post some of the largest suicide numbers.
Science Daily reports that this seemingly contradictory fact has been observed by sociologists in the past, especially with regards to the country of Denmark. Researchers for the new study found that countries displaying relatively high rates of happiness, such as Canada, the US, Iceland, Ireland, and Switzerland, have higher suicide rates. The researchers note, however, that the numbers they found are only suggestive, since the variation in cultures and in suicide-reporting conventions may have affected the data.
When comparing states within the US, where cultural and legal matters are mostly homogeneous, the researchers found the same result. Those states in which people generally reported being very satisfied with their lives had higher suicide rates. For example, Utah ranks first in life-satisfaction but 9th in suicide rate. New York, on the other hand, had the lowest suicide rate and ranked 45th in life satisfaction.