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Suicide and homicide rates show strikingly different trends in the United States.

The suicide rate has been increasing. It has been led by a rise in suicides in rural America, which are up 40% in 16 years. The homicide rate, on the other hand, has been decreasing over the same time period, though there has been a slight uptick in recent years.

Racial differences in homicide and suicide rates are particularly eye-catching. Over the past week, the CDC has released data, first on suicides:

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Murders in America have increased recently. This has been made horrifyingly obvious by the tragic nightly news stories coming from Chicago, a city whose homicide rate has skyrocketed in the last few years. (The homicide rate in Chicago is a legitimate hockey stick graph.)

The homicide rate in Chicago, though extremely alarming, is not the nation's worst for a large city. That dubious distinction goes to St. Louis. Other cities with higher homicide rates than Chicago include Memphis, Baltimore, New Orleans, Detroit, Cleveland, and Birmingham. (The Economist has an excellent...

Genetics plays a role in almost any conceivable characteristic, not just the obvious ones like eye color and height. Indeed, genetics plays a role in susceptibility to infectious disease, mental illness, and even personality traits.

Despite this being a widely acknowledged fact, the role of genetics is downplayed or outright ignored in certain situations that society finds uncomfortable. Most notably, we shy away from discussing the role of genetics when it comes to biological differences between the races and genders. Differences there are often blamed on social factors, such as discrimination, rather than biological ones. We do this, however, at our own peril.

To be sure, environmental and social factors (such as socioeconomic conditions, lifestyle choices, and adequate...

Young adulthood is supposed to be an exciting time. Getting a job, buying a home, and starting a family are on the agendas of many people in this age group. Unfortunately, this facet of the American dream has been snatched away prematurely from an increasing number of young people.

A new and disturbing report in The Lancet, based on data collected from the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, shows an increase in the death rates from 1999 to 2014 for young Americans, driven substantially by a shocking increase in the mortality of white women aged 25 to 35.

The graph (on left) depicts the average annual change in death rate by age and sex for men (...