The suicide rate in the U.S. rose from 1999 to 2005, the first increase after a decline of more than a decade, fueled by a 17 percent rise among middle-aged whites, researchers reported today.
Middle-aged men continued to kill themselves at a much higher rate than middle-aged women, while the rate rose faster in women than men. Rates of suicide declined slightly among blacks and Asians of all ages, as well as among white teenagers and adults younger than 40. They fell even more in people 65 and older.My theories:
- Fewer men are getting married. With no wife, nights can be pretty lonely at age 45 for a lot of men. I know that some men can adjust and are perfectly happy.
- Collapsing fertility rate. I believe the purposes of life are to 1) survive (aka job or entrepreneurship), 2) reproduce, and 3) raise your children properly. But hey, that's just me, basing my opinion on the natural order and millions of years of evolution. I think women are better able to cope with being childless. Lonely women do crazy things like taking in stray cats and listening to Stevie Nicks records. Men do crazy things like drinking themselves to death.
- The end of guaranteed employment. Over the past 50 years, unions have strangled the goose that lays the golden eggs. Which for many men destroys the first purpose of life I referenced above. After 20 years on an assembly line, with no education past high school, the future looks grim for those who are permanently laid off.