Recession III

Is the US pattern of suicides and road traffic deaths in a recession/depression found elsewhere? I’m thinking specifically of N Ireland and the Republic of Ireland after the great crash of 2007/08. Austerity, imposed externally in the South came earlier than self-imposed austerity in the North, where its effects were probably less than in mainland Britain.

N Ireland

Deaths from suicide:

death by suicide NI.jpg

(Source: DHSS, here)

Deaths from road traffic collisions:

RTA deaths NI_2.jpg

(Source: PSNI, here)

Republic of Ireland


Ireland RTA deaths.jpg

(Source: CSO, via here)

Road traffic collision fatalities

Ireland RTA deaths.jpg

(Source: Wikipedia, here)

In both parts of Ireland, there has been a decrease in deaths on the road; the figures for 2012 from N Ireland were the lowest since records began in 1931. There has a certainly been an increase in deaths by suicide in both parts, more obvious in N Ireland.

There is, however, another factor at work; the traditional response to financial, social and economic problems in Ireland—emigration. Without emigration, it’s likely that there would have been many more deaths from suicide.

In the following diagrams, numbers above the line represent net immigration inwards, negative numbers represent net emigration outwards:

N Ireland

(Numbers on the vertical axis are actual numbers)

Net migration NI.jpg

(Source; NISRA, from here)

Republic of Ireland

(Numbers on the vertical axis are in thousands)

Net migration Ireland.jpg

(Source: CSO, here)

It’s quite clear from these two diagrams that net emigration in the South began earlier than in the North, and involved considerably greater numbers of people.

Net emigration isn’t a new phenomenon. David McCann wrote about it on Slugger in August 2013, here. He wrote of  the greatest challenge to N Ireland being the loss of the next generation.

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