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Relatively Unknown Statistics

After surviving my brother's suicide in 1995, I became painfully aware just how prevalent suicide is. Years ago I encountered a WHO statistic that the suicide rate outstrips the homicide rate by nearly three times.

A recent NYTimes article notes a nearly twenty percent increase (20%) in United States suicide rates among people in midlife (45-54) between 1999 and 2004. 1 Also according to the article, more than 32,000 people committed suicide in 2004.

On the other hand, the FBI reports that in 2004 16,137 people died of homicide, just more than half the number of those who died by their own hands.2

The nearly two-to-one prevelance of suicide over homicide is not something to dwell on, but whenever I’m reminded of this fact I nod in sober acknowledgement of just how painful living can sometimes be. end of article

1 With a thirty-one percent (31%) increase in women aged 45-54.
2 Homicide defined as " as the willful (nonnegligent) killing of one human being by another”.