The world’s highest suicide rate

by on April 9, 2004 at 7:40 am in Science | Permalink

The highest suicide rate in the world has been reported among young women in South India by a new study. The research is of major importance, according to the World Health Organization, as it brings to light Asia’s suicide problem.

The average suicide rate for young women aged between 15 to 19 living around Vellore in Tamil Nadu was 148 per 100,000. This compares to just 2.1 suicides per 100,000 in the same group in the UK.

The global suicide rate stands at 14.5 deaths per 100,000, with suicide the fourth leading cause of death in the 15 to 19 age group. However, in the Tamil Nadu study, suicide was the number one cause of death among these adolescents.

Notably, young women were much more likely to kill themselves than young men – the reverse of the rest of the world. In Western countries, men are three times more likely to commit suicide than women.

Here is the full story. Here is an NBER paper on the determinants of teenage suicide in the United States. Earlier Alex wrote about suicide as a social phenomena involving tipping and multiple equilibria.

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