Studies have shown that places like Denmark and Sweden, which consistently get high scores when it comes to measures of happiness and life satisfaction, also have relatively high suicide rates, the New York Times reports. New research tracking suicide rates suggests that being around happy people could actually make unhappy people feel more depressed. Economists from the UK and the US looked at data on 2.3 million Americans to study life satisfaction scores state by state, and compared them with suicide rates. They found a relationship between overall happiness and suicide risk: states with highest levels of life satisfaction had higher suicide rates, according to the report. Utah, for example, is ranked first in life satisfaction and has the ninth highest suicide rate. New York is 45th in life satisfaction and has the lowest suicide rate. Hawaii was second for life satisfaction and had the fifth highest suicide rate, and New Jersey was 47th for both happiness and suicide.
Monday, April 25, 2011