Spokane Suicide Rate

Learning that someone I knew had committed suicide gave me pause – since living in Spokane I have known 6 people who committed suicide, plus one attempted suicide.

Curious, I looked up some data. The youth suicide rate in Spokane is 4 to 6 times greater than in the State.

Youth Suicide Rate 2005-2009

SpoSuicides2005-2009Youth

The rates are better than they were in 2002-2006 but the disparity between Spokane’s high suicide rates and the rate for the State has grown larger since then.

SpoYouthSuicides2002-2006

Data from 20010 and newer is not yet available. Rates vary from year to year due to large changes in small numbers – particularly when broken out by small age groupings.

Washington State itself has an above average number of suicides, ranking 36th out of 50 + 1 (includes Puerto Rico) “states” where a higher number indicates a worse suicide rate than a lower ranking. Thus, Spokane’s 4-6 times higher than the state rate should be interpreted in the context that Washington has a high suicide rate.

Adult Hospitalizations for attempted suicide by Age – Spokane versus Washington State – 2005-2009

SpoAdultSuicidesHospitalizatons

Source: Spokane County Regional Health District

The Spokane County Regional Health District says economic disparity and health outcomes are connected – read it for yourself.  There are likely other factors involved, too.

Hmmmm … given the data above, how do we explain this analysis of Tweets claiming that Spokane is happier? The Inlander suggests the study is junk science due to its horrendous methodology.

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