Recession Quadrupled Suicide Rate

Study finds additional 1.5K deaths per year

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 5, 2012 6:43 AM CST

(Newser) – The suicide rate rose four times more quickly between 2008 and 2010 than it did in the preceding eight years, a study finds, a jump of an extra 1,500 deaths per year. Between 1999 and 2007, the rate annually climbed by about 0.12 deaths per 100,000 people; that jumped to 0.51 deaths per 100,000 starting in 2008. And for every 1% increase in unemployment, suicide rates also climbed about 1%, notes the New York Times. Because "the magnitude of these effects is slightly larger than for those previously estimated in the United States," the study says, it's possible the recession also exacted a greater mental toll than earlier downturns.

In this Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012 photo, job seekers wait in line to see employers at the National Career Fairs' job fair in New York.
In this Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012 photo, job seekers wait in line to see employers at the National Career Fairs' job fair in New York.   (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
In this Feb. 11, 2009, file photo thousands of people line up at a federal government job fair in downtown Atlanta.
In this Feb. 11, 2009, file photo thousands of people line up at a federal government job fair in downtown Atlanta.   (AP Photo/Journal Constitution, Rich Addicks)
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