Monday, April 14, 2014

NZ suicide rate 'normal'

'Normal' is, of itself, a controversial word. Here, I use it in the sense of being near the average.

I was under the impression the NZ suicide rate was relatively high. But apparently the rate isn't internationally abnormal (notwithstanding a break-down will show age and ethnic disproportionalities.)

Again I draw on the OECD 2014 Society at a Glance data which shows NZ's rate is below the OECD average, notwithstanding many countries hover around a similar rate.

That on it's own must tell us something.


Brendan McNeill said...

What immediately strikes me as interesting is that the country with the lowest suicide rate in all countries measured, is Greece.

If poor economic prospects were the primary driver of suicide, then one might have thought that Greece, post 2008 would have been towards the top of the list, not residing happily at the bottom.

Perhaps life is not as bad there as we thought, or else ones economic/social prospects are not necessarily the primary driver of suicide?

Lindsay Mitchell said...

Brendan, Completely unresearched, but I'd guess religion in Greece plays a role.

Brendan McNeill said...

Lindsay, I have a friend who works in the sector so I asked him. He tells me that depression is considered to be the primary driver for suicide in the Western world.

It's probably a combination of factors as to why Greece is the best of a bad chart, and yes I imagine their Catholicism plays a part, however I suspect the Church there is in decline as it appears to be in most of Europe.

My friend suggested that part of it may simply be their cultural predisposition, along with climate, more open relationships, more connected families perhaps?

Completely unrelated, but I loved your post on the saxophone by the way. If we are going to be irrational then the purchase of musical instruments has to be the logical choice!

I have three guitars. :-)