2009-11-15

Problem symptoms

I have found it a persistent urban legend that Swedes would be particularly prone to suicide. In order to demonstrate that this is not the case I looked up the relevant WHO statistics. As you can see, Sweden is not particularly high on the list, but we knew that. However, what did stick out as a sore thumb was that the People's Republic of China is the only country in the world (for which there are statistics) where women have a higher suicide rate than men.

Googling around confirmed that I am not the only one to have noticed this. Explanations seem centered on Chinese women's subservient position and low chances for poor people to improve their lot, and somehow I can't help but make the connection between this and the Google ads that turn up in the margin…

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

and here i was, thinking that the prc was "the only country in the world (for which there are statistics) where" men have a lower suicide rate than women, an interesting observation in its own right. silly me!

kai said...

Oh, snap!

But in some attempt at defence, while Chinese males have suicide rates right on the global median, the female suicide rate is the second highest in the world (after Sri Lanka, which has a considerably higher overall rate) as well as being well over the average for both genders combined, so it is the rates for females that are exceptional. (Of course ignoring issues of statistical bias, which well may skew the numbers quite a bit, but that's a whole other can of worms.)

Vakteln said...

Sao Tome och Princip (jag vet att det ska vara någon ~ någon stans, men var?) hade högre! Det var å andra sidan väldigt gammal statistik så det kanske inte räknas...

kai said...

Ja jäsingen, det har du rätt i! Men å andra sidan så är deras befolkning så liten att det betyder att inga män och en enda kvinna tog livet av sig 1987 (och kanske inte nån alls sen dess?). Det är nog inte en statistiskt signifikant skillnad.

São Tomé e Príncipe ligger i den där bukten i Västafrika.