Suicide and Alcohol Consumption – by Country

There are many factors that are correlated to suicide, and a leading one is alcohol consumption. However, a study of these related indices is frought with issues in the data.

Data & Wikipedia.

I have included four views of the data in this post. As always, the raw data is accessible on the last tab. The first tab shows a scatter plot of Suicide per 100,000 population versus Alcohol Consumption in liters per person per year. The color selector is on Continent. Selecting Europe shows generally high levels of alcohol consumption, particularly in the former East Bloc nations. Lithuania and South Korea shows the most dramatic correlation, while several Middle Eastern nations show very inconclusive data. Most of Africa was not represented in this data set. Many countries may not report data, or may report 0 values or very low values for alcohol consumption because it is illegal to consume alcohol in those countries.

The same may hold for countries not be willing to report suicides, or to classify deaths as suicide for religious or cultural reasons. In our second tab, we compare the rates of suicide in men versus women in these countries. It is interesting to see many Latin American countries near the top of this list. Again, this may be a reflection of the seriousness with which women in these countries regard their religion.

The final chart shows the percentage of recorded alcohol consumption. Again, some countries are not prepared to recognize or report alcohol consumption and this leads to data which needs far more research than given here.

Suicide is a complex indice to study. Alcohol is just one corollary. Weather and economic issues also are significant in leading to suicide and we may look for more data to support those thoughts in a future post.

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