Friday, August 19, 2016

Suicide rates by age and decade

This is another eye opener. In 40 years the shape of  the combined columns has reversed. I knew what the current figures looked like but not those from the early seventies. 

Put yourself into the applicable column. If you're a boomer then you are going to appear in the lowest or second lowest columns all along. The generation I hail from has had less propensity to suicide than those following or those who lived through the depression and world wars.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Lindsay, have you read John Weaver's, Sorrows of a Century: Interpreting Suicide in New Zealand, 1900-2000?

If not, you would find it fascinating. It sounds ghoulish - but actually it is a really telling commentary on changing social life. In particular, what is striking in it is the way that suicide in the "old days" - thinking especially of before the second world war, was associated with drink and social isolation, but suicide in the last decade he looks at becomes associated with young people not being able to cope with family breakdown - either their parents or in their own love life. (The latter came about a decade earlier as a result of the "enlightened" approach of the sexual revolution, when young people lacked the perspective or social skills to cope with their relationships breaking down).

A highly recommended read for anyone thinking about the current social problems - and one that reinforced for me that in 50 years time people will be shaking their heads over the extent to which we were unwilling to consider whether the devastating consequences of the changing social mores was worth it!