Causes of deaths for the Southeastern Michigan area:Homicide, Unintentional Injury & Suicide

This post shows the homicide, unintentional injury, and suicide death rates for the Southeastern Michigan area and the Metro-Detroit area from 1980 to 2010. The Southeastern Michigan area is comprised of Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, St. Clair, Washtenaw, and Wayne counties. The Metro-Detroit area consists of Wayne, Macomb, and Oakland counties. While the City of Detroit data is included with the Wayne County data, we also examine just Detroit data in these charts.

The rates for the seven-county region were calculated on a five year rolling average while the rates for the Metro-Detroit area are presented on an annual basis. The Michigan Department of Community Health provided all information, and all rates are per 1,000. Sometimes the series are interrupted because of gaps in the data.

In the following charts you will see:

•Detroit and Wayne County have the highest homicide rate. The rates for these two areas have been increasing in recent years but are not near their peaks.
•The unintentional death rate for those under 25 has been decreasing.
•The suicide rate for those under 25 has also been decreasing, until a recent increasing trend, but the rate for those 25-74 is increasing in some areas.
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The homicide rate, when examined at both the five year rolling average for the seven-county region and the annual rate for the tri-county region, is highest in Detroit and Wayne County in all age groups. In Detroit and Wayne County the rates began to decrease from their peaks in the late-80s to mid-90s. However, for those under 25 in Detroit and Wayne County, the homicide rate began to increase again in recent years when looking at the five year rolling average (as displayed in the chart with data from Southeastern Michigan). When looking at the other counties across age groups, the homicide rate has remained fairly low and stable.

There was only enough information on the homicide rate for those 75 and older for the City of Detroit and Wayne County because the number of murders in the other counties was either so low, or non-existent, that a rate could be determined. In the information that was available, Detroit consistently had higher rates.

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According to the Center for Disease Control, unintentional injuries are unplanned injuries that occur suddenly; they are typically associated with crashes, falls, fires, burns, drowning, poisoning, and aspirations. The death rate associated with unintentional injuries was highest for those 75 and older, although rates for the seven-county region have fluctuated across time. The largest increase can be seen in the Oakland County annual rate data; the annual unintentional injury death rate increased from a series low of 35.6 in 1981 to a peak 177.3 in 2010, with a great deal of variation.

Also, the graphs for both for the Southeastern Michigan area and the Metro-Detroit area show an overall decreasing trend in deaths related to unintentional injuries for those under the age of 25 from 1980 to early-2000s.

The City of Detroit had the highest death rates associated with unintentional injuries for the 25-74 age group. Since the early-2000s, there appears to be an increasing trend of deaths related to unintentional injuries for the 25-74 age groups for all counties in the Southeastern Michigan area, with the exception of Oakland and Washtenaw counties.

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In Southeastern Michigan, the suicide rate has been higher for the 25-74 age group compared to those under 25 from 1980 to 2010. St. Clair County had the highest suicide rate for those 25-74 years old, peaking at 21.5 for the 2006-10 time frame. The rates for those 25-74 years old for St. Clair County and Macomb County have been increasing since the mid-90s, when looking at the five-year averages. When just looking at the tri-county area, it can be seen the suicide rate began to increase in the mid-2000s for the 25-74 age group. It did start to decrease in 2009 though.

For the under 25 age group, St. Clair County had the overall highest rate at 9.1, both in the 1989-1992 and 1990-93 time frames. Overall, data shows there has been a slight decreasing trend in suicides in this age group from the late-80s to the early-2000s. Since then, there appears to be an increasing trend, except in Oakland County. Monroe and Livingston were also showing declines, but their data appears to be missing for recent years.

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