This study explored the spatial distribution of suicide, while considering both gender and age.
I chose this study during preliminary research for my final GIS project. While I am applying Durkheim’s theory of anomic suicide, this study demonstrates the methodology for analyzing suicide rates. This study, conducted in 2010, used GIS and sociological theory to analyze and explore the spatial relationship of suicide distribution in Queensland, Australia. Queensland, Australia is the northeast portion of the country, the second-largest and third most populous state. This state is less centralized, with most of its population living in smaller urban areas, and greatly relies on tourism. This study analyzes the spatial distribution of rates of suicide deaths, as well as other demographic variables, at the level of the local government, mapping the clusters with GIS. This study argues that the mapping of the suicide clusters highlights vulnerable areas, and the need to address mental health services. In line with other empirical research, the majority of suicides were male, and around half of the suicides were committed by young adults. The gendered division in suicide is thoroughly researched and documented. Due to socialization practices, women attempt suicide three times that of men, but men commit suicide at a higher rate than women. This discrepancy is due to modes used to commit suicide, with men using more destructive tools or situations such as guns, while women use medication or other methods with a higher likelihood of being stopped.
In Figure 1, we see that male suicide is spread throughout the north and the east, but the female suicide is concentrated in the north and along the eastern shore. Brisbane had the most cases of suicide, while Wide Bay Burnett had a cluster of high risk areas of suicide, due to the few health resources available. This research is important to identify clusters of suicidal actions and completed cases, so there may be further development of resources within communities. Additionally, this also shows the variation in both gender, age, and geographic location, emphasizing the connection between available resources and suicide cases.
Xin, Qi, Tong Shilu, and Hu Wenbiao. 2010. "Spatial Distribution of Suicide in Queensland, Australia."BMC Psychiatry 10, 106-115.