Paul M. Sommers room of Economics, Middlebury College, Middlebury, VT, USA. DOI: 10.4236/jss.2018.68003 PDFHTML XML 955 downloads 3,015 see Citations


The writer examines age-group certain suicide rates by state in the United claims presidential choice years the 2008, 2012 and 2016. For each choice year, the claims are split into blue claims (whose voters chose the democratic Party presidential candidate) and also red claims (whose voters chose the Republican Party presidential candidate). While suicide rates have trended greater in all states, the distinctions in median suicide rates in 2012 (when Democrat Barack Obama was re-elected) to be significantly greater in red states than they were in blue states for every age group however adults 55 to 64 year of age. In 2016, when the Republican Party re-captured the White house late in the year, mean differences were notably greater in red claims than in blue states amongst adults between 25 and also 54 years of age.

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Suicide Rates, Presidential Elections, Red and also Blue claims

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Sommers, P. (2018) Suicide prices in U.S. Presidential choice Years: 2008, 2012 and 2016. Open up Journal of society Sciences, 6, 33-48. Doi: 10.4236/jss.2018.68003.

1. Introduction

In 2008, 2012 and also 2016, the last 3 U.S. Presidential election years, the greatest suicide rates―18.70, 20.00 and 19.75 every 100,000 world respectively―were among American middle-aged adults, in between 45 and 54 year of period (American foundation for Suicide avoidance <1> ). There is far-reaching variation in self-destruction rates amongst states, in component due to accessibility to weapons (the most common an approach of death by suicide) and in component due to low populace density, significantly the isolation associated with sparsely lived in mostly land-locked claims in the West (see, because that example, Cohn <2> ). Suicide has actually been connected with stressful economic conditions (see, because that example, Hamermesh and Soss <3> ). But, no one has examined whether suicide in presidential election years is pertained to states whose voter predominantly select either the Republican Party (red) or autonomous Party (blue) presidential candidate. If the incumbent president is a Democrat, suicide rates may be greater in red says than in blue states, particularly if (as in 2012) the autonomous incumbent is re-elected. The cultivation divide in between red and blue states may manifest chin in various average suicide rates.

Barack Obama (Democrat) to be the first African American chosen President the the United states in 2008. He to be re-elected in 2012 by defeating Republican opponent Mitt Romney. In 2016, Donald trump card (Republican), the oldest human ever chosen president, defeated the democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in arguably one of the many contentious and also nastiest presidential projects in American history.1 One could think that red states in 2012 to be angrier and possibly much more suicidal 보다 blue states following Obama’s re-election. In 2016, one might think the red says were angrier and possibly an ext suicidal 보다 blue says until Trump’s surprising success in early on November.

In this brief research note, we research state particular suicide prices over the last 3 presidential election years across six age groups, ranging from 20- come 24-year-olds to adult 65 year of age or older. And, because that each that the presidential choice years (2008, 2012 and also 2016), us propose to check for any type of differences in age-group details suicide rates in blue and red states amongst adults over twenty years of age. Some might argue that suicide rates are invariably greater in red says only because of your geography, regardless of the fact that the location of “red” claims has readjusted as numerous states have actually flipped native blue come red.

2. Literature Review

Levandusky and Pope <4> said in 2011 that the level of polarization in between red and also blue claims was more than likely overstated. Based upon survey data they supplied from 2006, the writer concluded that there was much common ground between the 2 groups. In 2016, however, Aisch, Pearce and Yourish <5> observed the the divide between red and also blue America had become “pretty wide” and also was growing. The authors speculated the the degree of polarization would continue in the 2016 presidential election. The ever-deepening divide in between red and blue says before and after Donald Trump’s win in 2016 reflects strong differences in ideology. Some civilization (see, for example, Jacobson <6> ) observed that the rift is apparent in just how state legislatures manage “hot-button society issues” such as gun control, abortion, and also immigration. Blue states tend come approve an ext gun manage legislation and also make life less complicated for undocumented inhabitants in sanctuary cities; red states have passed law making abortions more an overwhelming to obtain.

No one, however, has suggested that there might be a link between the territorial separation right into red and also blue states across the united States and also rising suicide rates. Part deeply despondent voters who complained that they had lost regulate of their country might have concerned suicide as a preferable solution to wait to poll to bring around change.

3. Data

The Centers for condition Control and Prevention (CDC) in June 2018 exit the latest figures (as the 2016) on age-specific fatality rates for self-destruction per 100,000 world by state. Suicide fatality rates through state because that six age groups―20 - 24, 35 - 44, 45 - 54, 55 - 64, and 65 or over―in years 2008, 2012 and 2016 were acquired from the CDC WONDER’s virtual database for mortality <7> . In instances where the number of deaths by suicide was much less than 10 (or deemed by the CDC to be “unreliable”), the CDC’s figures were suppressed.

For each choice year, we divide the U.S. Into red and blue states. Table 1 reflects age-group particular suicide rates by state and blue/red designations for the years 2008, 2012 and 2016. In 2012, two states―Indiana and also North Carolina―flipped indigenous blue come red. 4 years later, in 2016, six much more states―Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin―flipped native blue to red. No state in either 2012 or 2016 flipped from red to blue. Presidential election maps for 2008, 2012 and also 2016 <8> showing the blue/red split appear in figures 1-3.

In 2008 and 2012, no red state and also no blue state (save because that Florida) was completely surrounded by competitor blue/red states; in 2016, again no red state was completed surrounding by blue states, however the blue says of Minnesota and also Illinois were completed surrounded by red states. The 3 election maps clearly show the propensity for like-minded american to live close to one another, that is, to sort themselves geographically, a allude made through Bishop <9> in 2008.

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Table 2 and Table 3 summarize for blue states and also red states, respectively, the number of observations for each period group, the mean, standard deviation, minimum and also maximum suicide rates in 2008, 2012 and 2016. The highest average suicide rate in all 3 presidential election years was among adults between 45 and 54 year of period in both blue and red states. Because that blue states, the average suicide price was lowest for 20- come 24-year-olds all three years; because that red states, the typical suicide rate was lowest for 20- come 24-year-olds in only 2012, while in 2008 and 2016, the typical suicide rate was lowest because that the oldest age group, 65 year of age or older. Blue (red) states with the shortest suicide prices were new Jersey, Massachusetts, and new York (Nebraska, Georgia, and also Louisiana); blue (red) states with the greatest suicide prices were brand-new Mexico, Nevada, and Colorado (Wyoming, Alaska, and also Montana). In 2016 alone, the lowest suicide price was 7.9 suicides every 100,000 25- to 34-year-olds in brand-new Jersey (a blue state) and the highest suicide price was 61.0 suicides every 100,000 20- come 24-year-olds in Alaska (a red state). Amongst adults 65 years of age or enlarge in blue states, Massachusetts had actually the lowest suicide price all three years; Nevada had actually the greatest (or tied for the highest) suicide rate all 3 years. Amongst 20- come 24-year-olds (45- come 55-year-olds) in red states, Alaska (Wyoming) had the highest suicide rate all 3 years.