(WASHINGTON POST) – The U.S. suicide rate has increased sharply since the turn of the century, led by an even greater rise among middle-aged white people, particularly women, according to federal data released Friday.
Last decade's severe recession, more drug addiction, "gray divorce," increased social isolation, and even the rise of the Internet and social media may have contributed to the growth in suicide, according to a variety of people who study the issue.
But economic distress – and dashed hopes generally – may underpin some of the increase, particularly for middle-aged white people. The data showed a 1 percent annual increase in suicide between 1999 and 2006 but a 2 percent yearly hike after that, as the economy deteriorated, unemployment skyrocketed and millions lost their homes.
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