Navigation Links
Happiest places have highest suicide rates says new research

The happiest countries and happiest U.S. states tend to have the highest suicide rates, according to research from the UK's University of Warwick, Hamilton College in New York and the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

The new research paper titled Dark Contrasts: The Paradox of High Rates of Suicide in Happy Places has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization. It uses U.S. and international data, which included first-time comparisons of a newly available random sample of 1.3 million Americans, and another on suicide decisions among an independent random sample of approximately 1 million Americans.

The research confirmed a little known and seemingly puzzling fact: many happy countries have unusually high rates of suicide. This observation has been made from time to time about individual nations, especially in the case of Denmark. This new research found that a range of nations - including: Canada, the United States, Iceland, Ireland and Switzerland, display relatively high happiness levels and yet also have high suicide rates. Nevertheless the researchers note that, because of variation in cultures and suicide-reporting conventions, such cross-country scatter plots are only suggestive. To confirm the relationship between levels of happiness and rates of suicide within a geographical area, the researchers turned to two very large data sets covering a single country, the United States.

The scientific advantage of comparing happiness and suicide rates across U.S. states is that cultural background, national institutions, language and religion are relatively constant across a single country. While still not absolutely perfect, as the States are not identical, comparing the different areas of the country gave a much more homogeneous population to examine rather than a global sample of nations.

Comparing U.S. states in this way produced the same result. States with people who are generally more satisfied with their lives tended to have higher suicide rates than those with lower average levels of life satisfaction. For example, the raw data showed that Utah is ranked first in life-satisfaction, but has the 9th highest suicide rate. Meanwhile, New York was ranked 45th in life satisfaction, yet had the lowest suicide rate in the country.

The researchers then also tried to make their comparison between States even fairer and yet more homogeneous by adjusting for clear population differences between the states including age, gender, race, education, income, marital status and employment status. Even with these adjustments. This still produced a very strong correlation between happiness levels and suicide rates although some states shifted their positions slightly. Hawaii then ranks second in adjusted average life satisfaction but has the fifth highest suicide rate in the country. At the other end of the spectrum, for example, New Jersey ranked near the bottom in adjusted life satisfaction (47th) and had one of the lowest adjusted suicide risks (coincidentally, also the 47th highest rate).

The researchers (Professor Andrew Oswald from the University of Warwick, Associate Professor of Economics Stephen Wu of Hamilton College and Mary C. Daly and Daniel Wilson both from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco) believe the key explanation that may explain this counterintuitive link between happiness and suicide rates draws on ideas about the way that human beings rely on relative comparisons between each other.

University of Warwick researcher Professor Andrew Oswald said:

"Discontented people in a happy place may feel particularly harshly treated by life. Those dark contrasts may in turn increase the risk of suicide. If humans are subject to mood swings, the lows of life may thus be most tolerable in an environment in which other humans are unhappy."

Professor Stephen Wu of Hamilton College said:

"This result is consistent with other research that shows that people judge their well-being in comparison to others around them. These types of comparison effects have also been shown with regards to income, unemployment, crime, and obesity."


Contact: Andrew Oswald
University of Warwick

Related medicine news :

1. Yummy Cakes and More Places 2nd in NFL Super Bowl Tailgate Cake Contest
2. New Consumer Era Places Retailers at the Forefront of Participating in Shoppers Health
3. Oransi Launches Robby Wash High Efficiency Laundry Detergent in U.S. – 10 Ounces Replaces 75 lbs. of Traditional Laundry Detergent
4. Laser Spine Institute Recognized Among the 2010 Top Workplaces in Tampa Bay
5. Robby Wash High Efficiency Laundry Detergent Offers 25% off Coupon – Replaces 75 lbs. of Traditional Laundry Detergent Saving $100 Annually
6. Outside Magazine Names LeBootCamp as One of America's Best Places to Work in 2010
7. The Best -- and Worst -- Places To Be a Mother
8. San Antonio Business Journal Names BMI of Texas One of the Best Places to Work in San Antonio
9. Mobile and Patented: DATA-TO-CAMERA TOGGLE on handheld device replaces old camera and clipboard approach everywhere! Beats IPAD to camera punch too.....
10. The International Association of Anesthesiologists Places its Top Doctors in the Renowned Medical Publication, The Leading Physicians of the World.
11. Widespread Use of Defibrillators in Public Places Saves Lives: Study
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Happiest places have highest suicide rates says new research
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... announced its strategic partnership with Connance, a healthcare industry leader providing predictive ... proven, proprietary technology combine to provide health systems, hospitals and ambulatory surgical ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Quality metrics are proliferating in ... ways they remain in the eye of the beholder, according to experts who offered ... The American Journal of Managed Care. For the full issue, click here . ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... 2016 , ... PawPaws brand pet supplements owned by Whole Health ... the health of felines. The formula is all-natural and is made from Chinese herbs ... Cat Kidney Support Supplement Soft Chews are Astragalus Root Extract and Rehmannia ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... Washington, D.C. (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 ... ... will discuss health policy issues and applications at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June ... share their work on several important health care topics including advance care planning, ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... "With 30 hand-drawn hand gesture animations, FCPX users can easily customize each ... Film Studios. , ProHand Cartoon’s package transforms over 1,300 hand-drawn pictures into hand ... select a ProHand generator and drag it above media or text in the Final ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/26/2016)... DUBLIN , June 27, 2016 Jazz ... the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act ... proposed acquisition of Celator Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ("Celator"; Nasdaq: ... 11:59 p.m. (Eastern Daylight Time). As previously ... entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Jazz ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... CHAPEL HILL, N.C. , June 24, 2016 ... in healthcare decisions and regulators/payers have placed more ... this new environment, patient support programs in the ... support for patients, medications. Consequently, pharmaceutical companies are ... to ensure they are providing products and services ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016   Bay Area ... Network,s Dean Center for Tick Borne Illness ... and Rehabilitation, MIT Hacking Medicine, University of California, ... today announced the five finalists of Lyme ... disease.  More than 100 scientists, clinicians, researchers, entrepreneurs, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: