The suicide rate in New York City is almost half of the national average, according to the health department, the Times reported. Six in every 100,000 New Yorker residents killed themselves from 2007-2008, compared to 11 per 100,000 in the rest of the country. The rate has held steady since the year 2000.
Most New Yorkers who commit suicide hang themselves—almost one third. The next most common method is jumping from a high building, which was chosen by 18 percent of suicides, compared to two percent in the rest of the country. The most common form of suicide in America is by firearm, though it’s only the fourth most common in New York City (16 percent). Experts suggest that stricter gun laws in New York might account for the smaller suicide rate. The state with the lowest rate, New Jersey, also has strong gun control laws; the largest rates are in western states (Montana, Alaska, Wyoming), where two-thirds of the suicides are by firearm.
Times commenters also have their own ideas: that we have better mental-health services and more investment in suicide prevention, that with so many people around it’s hard to feel lonely and that we have a better attitude toward homosexual and transgendered people. And then there’s this: “New York is at least twice as awesome as the next best place in the US, makes sense it would have half the suicide rate.”