A new study in The Lancet shows that suicide rates in the U.S. climbed significantly during the depths of the recent recession.
The rate of suicide prior to the recession was increasing by about 0.12 deaths per 100,000 people. From 2008 to 2010, the rate of suicides increased by 0.51 per 100,000. That’s an rate increase of over 300%, or about 1,500 suicides per year.
Using information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the researchers connected the suicide rate to unemployment in the U.S. Each rise of 1% for the unemployment rate saw a corresponding rise in the rate of suicide of 1%. There were no factors that showed a variation for different regions of the country.
The trend, sadly, is not unusual and manifests itself across cultures and countries during difficult economic times. Studies in Spain, Italy and Greece have corroborated the trend.