Friday, April 22, 2016
Why the White Suicide Rate is Up
Less educated white men have a rising suicide rate.
White women's suicide rate has gone up significantly. Women are much less likely to kill themselves than men, but their suicide rate has gone up more than twice as fast as men's.
I am speculating here well beyond the data, so I hold this idea only loosely.
It makes sense to me that less educated white people would be more despairing. They have suffered the most from the decline of low-education jobs, with no affirmative-action benefit. They have been the most surprised at the increasing diversity and integration of American society, and the consequent decline of the power of white privilege. They are the group most likely to support a demagogue who promises to "take the country back" from imagined nefarious forces, and make it great "again" compared to a vaguely specified past.
In the big picture, America is getting better. However, low-education white people are the least likely to experience that improvement.