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December 1, 1962

Suicide Is Moving Up From Low-Income Class To Better Paid, Statistics Show

JAMA. 1962;182(9):24. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050480088033

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Thirty years ago suicide was more prevalent among Americans in the low-salaried working class. Today it has become more common among well-paid upper-class groups.

This was one of the many factors involved in suicide brought out at the clinical session by Louis I. Dublin, Ph.D., of Winter Park, Fla., a medical statistician.

Dublin, who made no attempt to explain the psychological motivation for suicide, said the relationship between economics and suicide "shows clearly how involved the whole problem is."

Information drawn from records of life insurance companies showed that the suicide death rate of industrial workers 30 years ago was "consistently higher" than that for better-paid professional groups, he said. More recently, he said, this relationship has been reversed and the difference between the two social classes becomes greater as age increases.

At the same time, he said, studies made 30 years ago and repeated this year indicate that the