Sunday, September 17, 2006

Morality, life's blessing and relgion. Part 5 Suicide

Just one set of statistics for this post. It's almost 3 am and I'm tired but I wondered how suicide rates would compare between our Secular States and the Jesusland states. Off hand I don't have any idea how this would fall nor am I familiar enough with the causes of suicide to hazard a guess. So I went to this site for the state by state statistics just to see how the states rate. When I sort by suicide rate this is what I find:

13.8 Kentucky
13.7 Arkansas
13.6 Oklahoma
13.0 Tennessee
11.7 Mississippi

11.6 Alabama
11.5 South Carolina
11.4 North Carolina
11.2 Georgia
10.7 Texas
10.5 MAINE
10.3 Louisiana

I'm not sure we have found anything meaningful at all. Again the states are fairly evenly divided. Of the eleven states, from our survey, with the highest suicide rates 6 are from the Secular States and five are from the Jesusland states. Of the five worst states 3 are from the Secular States but then so are four of the five states with the lowest suicide rate.

Looking at this survey the first thing I noticed is how the states with the highest suicide rates are western mountain states which tend to be sparsely populated. They also tend to have higher ratios for males to females. I know men are more likely to successfully kill themselves than females and I wonder if this explains the high rate in these states. The chart I have above shows how suicide is far more common among men thus states with more males would have higher suicide rates all others factors remaining equal. The Mountain states tend to be mixed states when it comes to our survey. For instance Utah is very theocratic with the strength of the Mormons there. It too has the same high suicide rate.

The rates seem very regional. New England, which is very secular, has the lowest suicide rates in the country. I do see something to the idea that densely populated ares have lower suicide rates. Certainly a lot of human contact would reduce the inclination to kill one's self I would think. And when we look at the high population states of New York, Illinois, Massachusetts, California, Maryland and New Jersey they are all states with relatively high numbers of people per square mile.

I think the suicide rates have not told us anything here. Even if we average the two groups they are very similar. The high suicide rates of the mountain states of Wyoming and Montana really skew things for the Secular States in our survey but even with them counted the average number of suicides per 100,000 people is 12.5 in the Secular States and 12 in the Jesusland states.


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