The Baby Boomer Suicide Spike

Aging in America

About five days ago the New York Times published an article reporting on a recent publication by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) where they noted that over the past decade or so (spanning the years 1999-2010) that suicide rates in the US have risen sharply, particularly amongst middle aged men ages 50-59, who saw increases in suicide rates approaching 50 percent, and the most amongst women ages 60-64, with an increase of nearly 60 percent.

Let’s look directly at the so-called ‘per capita’ rates, as in, suicides per 100,000. Amongst the 50-59 year old male baby boomers, rates went up from approximately 20 per 100,000 to 30 per 100,000. As is the usual case amongst males, firearms were the most common means of completing suicide. Amongst 60-64 year old women (women, of course, tending to complete suicide at lower rates overall), rates went from 4.4 per 100,000…

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