Variations in Suicide Rates Between Countries

Dataset Choice

The dataset I have chosen to work with for this project is the Gapminder World Dataset.

Research Question

What factors account for variations in suicide rates between countries?

Research Topic

Upon reviewing the Gapminder codebook, I’ll be looking to explore the relationship between socioeconomic factors and variation in suicide rates between different countries of the world.

I think socioeconomic factors may help in explaining some of these variations, and I’ll be exploring the relationship between some socioeconomic indicators and suicide rates. Some of the variables that might help in explaining these variations include income, employment rate, and urban population rate.

Second Research Topic

Considering that suicide may also be related to quality of life of citizens, I am also interested in exploring the relationship between suicide rates and factors such as life expectancy, HIV rate, and alcohol consumption rate.

Literature Review

Suicides make a substantial contribution to the numbers of premature deaths, and to inform policies that might prevent suicide there is a need for improved knowledge about risk factors.

Suicide prevention should be recognised as a legitimate health issue. The relationship between suicide rates and socioeconomic factors is a complex one, and although studies have demonstrated an association between some of the socioeconomic factors mentioned and suicide rates, third world countries generally have lower suicide rates than developed countries.


Based on my review of different literatures and articles, the following hypothesis have been developed;

There is an inverse relationship between employment and suicide rates.

There is a positive relationship between alcohol consumption and suicide rates.

There is an inverse relationship between life expectancy and suicide rates.

There is an inverse relationship between income and suicide rates.

There is a positive relationship between HIV rates and suicide rates.


Cantor, C.H., Slater, P.J. and Najman, J.M., 1995. Socioeconomic indices and suicide rate in Queensland. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 19(4), pp.417–420.

Shah, A., 2007. The relationship between suicide rates and age: an analysis of multinational data from the World Health Organization. International Psychogeriatrics, 19(6), pp.1141–1152.

Lorant, V., Kunst, A.E., Huisman, M., Costa, G. and Mackenbach, J., 2005. Socio-economic inequalities in suicide: a European comparative study. The British journal of psychiatry, 187(1), pp.49–54.

Lewis, G. and Sloggett, A., 1998. Suicide, deprivation, and unemployment: record linkage study. Bmj, 317(7168), pp.1283–1286.

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