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Fewer Murders, More Suicide?

GOOD produced this sharp info-graphic on murder rates worldwide. One interesting trend it doesn’t show: countries with lower murder rates tend to have higher rates of suicide. Take Japan, which has one of the lowest murder rates in the world — just 0.5 per 100,000 people. It also has a very high rate of suicide, 23.7 per 100,000. Jamaica, on the other hand, has an unusually high murder rate — 49 per 100,000 — and the unusually low suicide rate of 0.35 per 100,000. There are outliers, of course. The highest suicide rates in the world are to be found in successor states to the Soviet Union and the former Warsaw pact, including the Ukraine (52.1), Belarus (63.6), and the Russian Federation itself (70.6). Murder rates in these countries are also elevated (7.04, 7.53, and 16.5 respectively). By way of comparison, the murder rate in the U.S. is 5.8 per 100,000. The suicide rate is 10.85, meaning you’re twice as likely to die by your own hand here than at the hands of another. [%comments]