Out of Hope: Record High Suicide Rate by Black Children and Young Women in Obama Era

Research papers released this year show the suicide rate for girls and young woman has nearly doubled to a record high under Barack Obama’s presidency, while the rate for Black children also hit a record high that ‘shocked’ researchers.


President Obama assumed office at the start of 2009 in the midst of a short, sharp recession that ended in the summer of 2009 promising ‘hope and change’ for women and minorities as the nation’s first Black president.

The New York Times reported on a study published by JAMA Pediatrics on Monday of suicides by children ages 5 to 11 showed the rate for Black children nearly doubled from 1.36 per million children in 1993 to 2.54 per million children through 2012. Suicides by Black children rose dramatically to 2.35 per million under Obama’s predecessor President George W. Bush but continued to rise nearly ten percent under Obama to 2.54 per million. The Times said researchers were so taken aback by the high numbers they waited and studied one more year only to find the suicide rate stayed high.


“The suicide rate among black children has nearly doubled since the early 1990s, while the rate for white children has declined, a new study has found, an unusual pattern that seemed to suggest something troubling was happening among some of the nation’s most vulnerable citizens.

“Suicide among children ages 5 to 11, the age range the study measured, is rare, and researchers had to blend several years of data to get reliable results. The findings, which measured the period from 1993 to 2012, were so surprising that researchers waited for an additional year of data to check them. The trend did not change.

“Suicide rates are almost always lower among blacks than among whites of any age. But the study, published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics on Monday, found that the rate had risen so steeply among black children — to 2.54 from 1.36 per one million children — that it was substantially above the rate among white children by the end of the period. The rate for white children fell to 0.77 per million from 1.14.

“It was the first time a national study found a higher suicide rate for blacks than for whites of any age group, researchers noted.

““I was shocked, I’ll be honest with you,” said Jeffrey Bridge, an epidemiologist at the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. “I looked at it and I thought, ‘Did we do the analysis correctly?’ I thought we had made a mistake.””

The Times found the suicide rate for white children aged 5 to 11 declined from 1.14 per million in 1993 to 0.77 per million in 2012.

However earlier this year, in March, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report that showed a near-doubling of the suicide rate for girls and young women aged from 10 to 24 from 2007 through 2013, according to the AP. The rate in 2013, the first year of Obama’s second term, was the highest since records started being kept in 1981.

“From 2007-2013, the rate for young females went from 2.2 to 3.4 per 100,000. That’s the highest since the 3.1 rate recorded in 1981, when such tracking began.”

The AP also stated the CDC reported that suicide rates for young males and older age groups started increasing in 2007 and stayed high under Obama.

“The rate for young males went from 10.7 to 11.9 per 100,000, although the rate seems to have leveled off in the last few years.”

…” Since 2007, suicide rates have increased for older age groups, too. Some experts believe the trend was ignited by the economic recession from December 2007 until June 2009.”

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