Advertisement

Incidence of female suicide in New York City: how important are socioeconomic factors?

  • Bonu SenguptaEmail author
  • Robert H. Jantzen
Original Paper

Abstract

Purpose

After a steady decline in the incidence of suicide in the last 3 decades of the twentieth century, suicide rates in the US and likewise in New York City (NYC) began to rise. A breakdown of the city’s rates by gender reveals that since 2000, suicides among men had held steady while the rate among women had increased in every age group, in divergence from the national pattern of rising rates in both genders. This study considers a broad range of socioeconomic variables to identify those most strongly associated with suicide rates of women in NYC.

Method

Drawing on 4 decades of data from the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey, the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Vital Statistics and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program, we use an Autoregressive Distributed Lag (ARDL) model to estimate short and long run relationships between suicide rates in women aged 15–44 and a range of socioeconomic factors.

Results

We find a positive aggregate association between women’s suicide rates and the unemployment rate, the White percentage of the city’s population, the number of forcible rapes reported in the crime statistics, and a negative association between suicide and abortion rates.

Conclusions

The results of the study suggest that labor market conditions, rather than societal factors such as marriage or fertility rates affect younger women’s suicide rates in NYC. Second, sexual violence against women, found in micro studies to have severe long-term negative effects on victims’ mental health is also positively associated with the aggregate suicide rate. Finally, higher abortion rates correspond with lower suicide rates at the city level, but the mechanisms behind this link are not as clear, since micro studies find little association between unwanted pregnancy termination and mental health.

Keywords

Suicides in women New York City Socio economic variables Cointegration ARDL 

Notes

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

References

  1. 1.
    Curtin SC, Warner M, Hedegaard H (2016) Increase in suicide in the United States, 1999–2014. NCHS data brief, no 241. National Center for Health Statistics. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db241.htm. Accessed 12 Apr 2018
  2. 2.
    OECD (2016) Health at a glance: Europe 2016, state of health in the EU cycle.  https://doi.org/10.1787/health_glance_eur-2016-12-en. Accessed 12 Apr 2018
  3. 3.
    The Economist (2016) The saddest trend: suicide rates are rising in America, and in other rich countries. Economist. 13 Apr 2016. https://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21697852-suicide-rates-are-rising-america-and-other-rich-countries-saddest-trend. Accessed April 12 2018
  4. 4.
    American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: Suicide statistics. https://afsp.org/about-suicide/suicide-statistics/. Accessed 12 Apr 2018
  5. 5.
    New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (2016) Suicides in New York City, 2000 to 2014. EPI data brief no. 75. https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/doh/downloads/pdf/epi/databrief75.pdf. Accessed 12 Apr 2018
  6. 6.
    Ramchand R, Becker A (2014) Suicide rates in california: trends and implications for prevention and early intervention programs. RAND Corporation, Santa Monica. https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_briefs/RB9737.html. Accessed 1 June 2018
  7. 7.
    Illinois Department of Public Health, Division of Vital Records, Death Certificate Data Files (2015) https://www.chicagohealthatlas.org/indicators/suicide. Accessed 1 June 2018
  8. 8.
    Case A, Deaton A (2017) Mortality and morbidity in the 21st century. Brookings papers on economic activity, Spring 2017, pp 397–476Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Hempstead KA, Phillips JA (2015) Rising suicide among adults aged 40–64 years: the role of job and financial circumstances. Am J Prev Med 48:491–500CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Rachiotis G, Stuckler D, McKee M, Hadjichristodoulou C (2015) What has happened to suicides during the Greek economic crisis? Findings from an ecological study of suicides and their determinants (2003–2012). BMJ Open.  https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2014-007295 Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Norström T, Grönqvist H (2015) The great recession, unemployment and suicide. J Epidemiol Commun Health 69:110–116CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Phillips JA, Colleen NN (2014) Suicide and the great recession of 2007–2009: the role of economic factors in the 50 US states. Soc Sci Med 16:22–31CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Reeves A, McKee M, Stuckler D (2014) Economic suicides in the great recession in Europe and North America. Br J Psychiatry 205:246–247CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Coope C, Gunnell D, Hollingworth W, Hawton K, Kapur N, Fearn V, Wells C, Metcalfe C (2014) Suicide and the 2008 economic recession: who is most at risk? Trends in suicide rates in England and Wales 2001–2011. Soc Sci Med 117:76–85CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    NYC Comptroller’s Office Report (2017) New York City’s labor market: evidence from the recent expansion. https://comptroller.nyc.gov/reports/new-york-citys-labor-market-evidence-from-the-recent-expansion/. Accessed 1 June 2018
  16. 16.
    Durkheim E (1897) Suicide: a study in sociology (trans: JA Spaulding, G. Simpson, 1951 ed.). The Free Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Hamermesh DS, Soss NM (1974) An economic theory of suicide. J Polit Econ 82:83–98CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Kposowa AJ (2000) Marital status and suicide in the national longitudinal mortality. J Epidemiol Commun Health 54:254–261CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Denney JT, Rogers RG, Krueger PM, Wadsworth T (2009) Adult suicide mortality in the United States: marital status, family size, socioeconomic status, and differences by sex. Soc Sci Q 90:1167–1185CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    New York City Department of Health Office of Vital Records (NYCDOHOVR). Summary of vital statistics, annual volumes from 1973 to 2014. http://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/data/vital-statistics/vital-statistics-summary.page. Accessed 1 May 2017
  21. 21.
    Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA) Data Warehouse Area Health Resources File (AHRF) county level data set. https://datawarehouse.hrsa.gov/data/datadownload.aspx#MainContent_ctl00_gvDD_lbl_dd_topic_ttl_0. Accessed 15 Dec 2016
  22. 22.
    Kposowa AJ, McElvain JP, Breault KD (2008) Immigration and suicide: the role of marital status, duration of residence, and social integration. Arch Suicide Res 12:82–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Stack S (2000) Suicide: a 15-year review of the sociological literature. Part II: modernization and social integration perspectives. Suicide Life Threat Behav 30:163–176Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Bhandarkar R, Shah A (2008) Association of general population suicide rates with fertility rates: a test of fertility as a measure of social integration. Psychol Rep 103:812–818CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Neumayer E (2003) Are socioeconomic factors valid determinants of suicide? Controlling for national cultures of suicide with fixed-effects estimation. Cross Cult Res 37:307–329CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Classen TJ, Dunn RA (2012) The effect of job loss and unemployment duration on suicide risk in the United States: a new look using mass-layoffs and unemployment duration. Health Econ 21:338–350CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Yamamura E (2009) The different impacts of socio-economic factors on suicide between males and females. Appl Econ Lett 17:1009–1012CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Milner A, McClure R, De Leo D (2012) Socio-economic determinants of suicide: an ecological analysis of 35 countries. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol 47:19–27CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Surkan PJ, Sakyi K, Strobino DM, Mehra S, Labrique A, Ali H, Ullah B, Wu L, Klemm R, Rashid M, West KP, Christian P (2016) Depressive symptoms in mothers following peri-natal and early infant loss in rural Bangladesh: a population-based study. Ann Epidemiol 26:467–473CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Gold K, Johnson TRB (2014) Mothers at risk maternal mental health outcomes after perinatal death. Obstet Gynecol.  https://doi.org/10.1097/AOG.0000000000000204 Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    American Psychological Association (2008) Report of the task force on mental health and abortion. http://www.apa.org/pi/wpo/mental-health-abortion-report.pdf. Accessed 16 Apr 2018
  32. 32.
    Charles VE, Polis CB, Sridhara SK, Blum RW (2008) Abortion and long-term mental health outcomes: a systematic review of the evidence. Contraception 78:436–450CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Campbell R, Wasco SM (2005) Understanding rape and sexual assault: 20 years of progress and future directions. J Interpers Violence 20:127–131CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    World Health Organization Department of Reproductive Health and Research, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, South African Medical Research Council (2013) WHO global and regional estimates of violence against women: prevalence and health effects of intimate partner violence and non-partner sexual violence. http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/85239/9789241564625_eng.pdf?sequence=1. Accessed 14 Apr 2018
  35. 35.
    Baumer EP, Lauritsen JL (2010) Reporting crime to the police, 1973–2005: a multivariate analysis of long-term trends in the National Crime Survey (NCS) and National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS). Criminology 48:131–185CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Xie M (2012) Area differences and time trends in crime reporting: comparing New York with other metropolitan areas. Justice Q 31:43–73CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Federal Bureau of Investigation, US Department of Justice (FBIUSDOJ). Uniform crime reports for the United States, “Table: number of offenses known to the police, year, cities and towns 25,000 and over in population”, Washington, DC, annual volumes from 1973 through 1984Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics (USDOJBJS). Uniform crime reports, crime local level single agency reported crime. http://www.bjs.gov/ucrdata/Search/Crime/Local/JurisbyJurisStepTwo.cfm. Accessed 1 May 2017
  39. 39.
    Snipes M, Cunha TM, Hemley DD (2011) An empirical investigation into the relationship between changes in the business cycle and the incidence of suicide. Int J Soc Econ 38:477–491CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Modrek S, Stuckler D, McKee M, Cullen MR, Basu S (2013) A review of health consequences of recessions internationally and a synthesis of the US response during the great recession. Public Health Rev 35:1–33CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Innamorati M, Tamburello A, Lester D, Amore M, Girardi P, Tatarelli R, Pompili M (2010) Inequalities in suicide rates in the European Union’s elderly: trends and impact of macro-socioeconomic factors between 1980 and 2006. Can J Psychiatry 55:229–238CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Nandi A, Prescott MR, Cerdá M, Vlahov D, Tardiff KJ, Galea S (2018) Economic conditions and suicide rates in New York City. Am J Epidemiol 175:527–535CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Ceccherini-Nelli A, Priebe S (2011) Economic factors and suicide rates: associations over time in four countries. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol 46:975–982CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    New York State Department of Labor Local Area Unemployment Statistics Program (NYSDOLLAUSP). https://labor.ny.gov/stats/laus.asp. Accessed 4 Sept 2016
  45. 45.
    Bureau of Economic Analysis Interactive Data (BEAID). GDP & personal income regional data. https://www.bea.gov/itable/iTable.cfm?ReqID=70&step=1#reqid=70&step=26&isuri=1&7022=20&7023=7&7024=non-industry&7025=4&7001=720&7029=20&7090=70&7031=36000. Accessed 1 Mar 2017
  46. 46.
    US Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics (USDOLBLS). Database, tables and calculators by subject. https://data.bls.gov/pdq/SurveyOutputServlet. Accessed 4 Mar 2017
  47. 47.
    Pesaran MH, Shin Y, Smith RJ (2004) Bounds testing approaches to the analysis of long-run relationships. Cambridge working papers in economics.  https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.5093

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsIona CollegeNew RochelleUSA

Personalised recommendations