Thursday, May 19, 2011

Farmer Suicides in India

Treehugger has a post publicizing the terrible toll of suicides among farmers in India: one dies every thirty minutes.

Let's see, that's 48 every day, or 17520 a year.  An amazing rate.

How many suicides occur in the US in 2007? 34,598 or a rate of 11.5 per 100,000

According to the CIA factbook on India, the labor force is 478 million, of which 52 percent are in agriculture, meaning there are about 250 million Indian agricultural workers.    17520 divided by 2500 (i.e., 100,000's) gives a suicide rate for agricultural workers of 7 per 100,000

I'm sure the stresses of the agricultural economy account for many of the suicides in India, but they need to be considered in some context. (Note: I've seen an earlier piece challenging the farmer suicide meme along these same lines, so this isn't original with me.)

No comments: