Suicide rates are on the rise in rural areas, according to a new study. Compared to urban areas, rural men are committing suicide 54% more often.
"Suicide rates were higher in both urban and rural places with concentrations of bars and taverns, according to the report by Fred Johnson, Paul Gruenewald and Lillian Remer. The authors speculate that a wide range of factors contributed to higher suicide rates in rural areas, including widespread use of firearms, local economic problems and alcoholism. Three out of four rural suicides involved firearms, according to the report.
The study shows a sudden and sharp increase in the rural suicide rate beginning a generation ago. In the early 1970s, suicide rates of rural men exceeded the urban rate by just 4%. But by the late 1990s, the suicide rate for rural men exceeded the urban rate by 54%."
These conclusions are based on numbers from 1995-2000. The sharp difference between rural rates and urban rates is due to a large increase in rural suicides. The rate of urban suicides did not decline during the study period, but it's rate of increase was far lower than that of rural areas.
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Tufts University Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning
City of Grand Forks, North Dakota
City of Birmingham, Alabama
City of Laramie, Wyoming
Colorado Department of Local Affairs
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