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Most Americans Dying From Suicide are From Rural Areas and the Rate has Surged by 40 Percent in 16 Years: Study

By Krisana Estaura, | March 19, 2017

uicides in non-core rural America have grown by over 40 percent in 16 years to 22 per 100,000 from 15 per 100,000. (YouTube)

uicides in non-core rural America have grown by over 40 percent in 16 years to 22 per 100,000 from 15 per 100,000. (YouTube)

A new study suggests that suicide rates are highest in the rural parts of the U.S. and is rising as urbanization spreads.

According to the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH), latest research from the CDC shows that suicide rates elsewhere in America increased between 1999 to 2015 by 30 percent from 12.2 per 100,000 people to 15.7 per 100,000 on average.

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Notably, suicides in non-core rural areas have grown by over 40 percent in 16 years to 22 per 100,000 from 15 per 100,000. Similarly, the suicide rate in micropolitan areas, defined as areas having a population as little as 10,000 to 49,999, grew by about 35 percent to 19 per 100,000 from 14 per 100,000.

The study showed that major cities have much smaller increases in suicide rates with around 10 percent.

ACSH noted that the study depicts a clear pattern suggesting that suicide rates are highest in the most rural parts of the U.S. and slowly rising.

In fact, as of 2015, the 22 per 100,000 suicide rate in rural areas is 40 percent higher than in the nation as a whole and 83 percent higher than in large cities.

The CDC explained that the large gap is due to the lack of proper mental healthcare, social isolation, the opioid crisis, and lingering effects of the Great Recession, all of which hit rural areas hardest.

Meanwhile, the Guardian reported that overdoses kill more Americans than car crashes or guns. Data show that drug overdoses killed 47,000 people in the US in 2014. That accounts for 130 deaths per day, on average. The majority of those deaths - 29,000, or 80 per day - involved an opioid.

In a bid to curb the drug crisis, the U.S. House Representatives and Senate have both passed a comprehensive legislation to combat opioid abuse.

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