Thursday, June 30, 2016


A CDC research paper out today breaks down what we know about suicide by professions (scroll down to Tables 1 and 2). There's some interesting and important stuff here. Also read this story, which alerted me to the original paper.

First, as a university professor, Table 1 caught my eye as "students" are #6 on the list, which is scary with 665 suicides reported. Keep in mind this is a count of all suicides regardless of how many people are in that category. Among students, 74 percent of suicides were by males. No surprise that the bulk of the student suicides are in the 16-24 age cohort.

OK, but there are a lot more students than fishermen, for example, so Table 2 is a better tool for understanding the problem.  According to Table 2, in terms of per 100,000 population, the worst occupational group for suicide is farming, fishing, and forestry. The top three occupations are all physical jobs and "production" at #4 is probably the same. The highest "white collar" job is at #5 for architecture and engineering.

Students don't show up on Table 2 and, best I can tell, are not folded into any other occupational group.

Given I'm a journalism prof I looked for that occupation, but it appears to be folded into a broad "Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media" category that comes in at #7 with 24.3 suicides per 100,000.

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