Friday, August 17, 2007

army suicide rate

the record-high army suicide rate in 2006 is making big news today. how does the army rate of 17 per 100,000 compare with other groups of (mostly) young adults? suicide rates vary significantly by demographic group, with older white males most likely to kill themselves. let's see, the active-duty army is about 86 percent male and 61 percent white. the jail population is about 87 percent male and 44 percent white, while the prison population is about 93 percent male and 35 percent white. i've plotted the suicide rates for each group for the most recent year available. army rates are currently at about the level of prison suicide rates, though both are far lower than jail rates. while the trend in prison and jail suicide is declining, however, army rates appear to be ascending rapidly.

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