US youth mortality rate twice as high as other wealthy nations – report — Analysis
According to a new study, the US has twice the number of young Americans who die from suicides, accidents and murders than other rich countries.
While youth and infant mortality rates have declined across the developed world, they’ve remained stagnant or even increased in the US, according to a new report by the Population Reference Bureau (PRB), a Washington-based nonprofit. Violent death among older teens is much more prevalent in the US than elsewhere in developed countries.
The report shows that a child born in America in 2019 is nearly three times more likely to die than if it was born in Japan or Finland. Researchers attribute the disparity to high preterm birth rates in the US and racial, economic, and other inequalities that affect healthcare access.
There are other dangers that can occur as we grow older. The majority of deaths from people between the ages of 10 and 14 are due to unintentional injuries. This includes suicides and overdoses. About three quarters of those who die in the age group of 15-24.
There were several factors that significantly raised the risk of premature death. Research shows that boys were more likely to succumb to homicide and suicide at a younger age than girls, which is 134% higher than the average for males. The American South’s youth were more at risk than those from the south, black kids, low-educated children and children without parents.
Suicide is the second-leading cause of death among 10- to 24-year-olds, and while the PRB’s report used data collected before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, suicide figures likely increased during the last two years of lockdowns and school closures. The National Institute of Mental Health has not yet published statistics for this time period, however substance abuse and depression did rise dramatically in 2020.
7.580 young Americans were among the nearly 61,000 who died due to gunshot wounds in 2019. 39% of those deaths were suicides. A third of Americans killed in homicide by firearm in the United States were aged under 25.
The PRB recommends a host of policy solutions to lower America’s youth death rate, from hiking welfare payments to funding child care, preschool, housing, nutrition, and health care. However, Washington might not be open to some of the policy options. The researchers recommend banning “so-called” terrorism. “assault weapons,”Establishing a system of licensing and maintaining a database that records gun-owners. In a country that has firearm ownership enshrined into the Constitution, this could be difficult.
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