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Suicides in Greece (vs rest of Europe)

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Suicides in Greece (vs rest of Europe)

The scope of this project is to use the data concerning suicides in Greece and the EU, to study whether there is an increasing trend of suicides in Greece, or better whether the behaviour of Greece is different than the rest of Europe. The output should be a report with at least 10 visualisations to study the data and create an informed opinion about the topic in a concrete and convincing manner.



The key findings of the project are:

* Greece has lower suicides than the EU as a whole.
* Countries in the Mediterranean have fewer suicides, while Nothern Europe has higher suicide rates.
* Men are significantly more likely to commit suicide compared to women.
* The over-representation of men is universal across all countries in the EU.
* The likelihood of suicide increases with age.
* While not true for the whole EU, in Greece the economic slowdown might relate to an increase in suicides.

The scope of this project is to use the data concerning suicides in Greece and the EU, to study whether there is an increasing trend of suicides in Greece, or better whether the behaviour of Greece is different than the rest of Europe. The output should be a report with at least 10 visualisations to study the data and create an informed opinion about the topic in a concrete and convincing manner.



The key findings of the project are:

* Greece has lower suicides than the EU as a whole.
* Countries in the Mediterranean have fewer suicides, while Nothern Europe has higher suicide rates.
* Men are significantly more likely to commit suicide compared to women.
* The over-representation of men is universal across all countries in the EU.
* The likelihood of suicide increases with age.
* While not true for the whole EU, in Greece the economic slowdown might relate to an increase in suicides.

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Suicides in Greece (vs rest of Europe)

  1. 1. SOTIRIOS BARATSAS MSc in Business Analytics EXAMINING SUICIDES IN GREECE AND THE EUROPEAN UNION
  2. 2. In the next parts of our analysis, we will attempt to see if this trend really exists, whether Greece is a part of it and what other characteristics we can identify in the number of suicides. In the last few years (2013-2015), the number of suicides in the European Union has been on a steep decline. In 2013, the number of suicides reached a local maximum and then started decreasing in 2014 and subsequently in 2015. However, since we are only working with data between 2011 and 2015, we are not sure if this is part of a larger trend. Moreover, creating this graph, we do not take into account the possible increases or decreases in the population size of the different countries in the EU. Total Suicides Trend The total suicides all over Europe are in decline
  3. 3. Between 2011 and 2015, Greece has around 5 suicides per 100k population, while the EU as a whole has around 11. By plotting the trendline for the number of Suicides (per 100k population) in Greece vs. the EU as a whole, we can immediately observe that Greece is well below the benchmark. Suicide trend in Greece vs. abroad We can also confirm that there is indeed a decreasing trend of suicides in the EU, but not as steep as expected from the previous graph. That is probably due to a matching decrease in population, that influenced the number of suicides also. As far as Greece is concerned, we can observe an increase in suicides (per 100k) from 2011 until 2014, and just recently (2015), a mild decrease has begun. Later in our analysis, we will attempt to see if the increasing trend in the previous years was influenced by the economic results of Greece, in terms of GDP.
  4. 4. By plotting the number of suicides per 100k for all the countries, we immediately see, that (for once) Greece is on the right side of a chart. Lithuania, Hungary, Slovakia and Latvia seem to be leading this negative trend, having the largest number of suicides per 100k in the years 2011-2015. On the other hand, Greece, along with Turkey, Cyprus, Malta and Italy seem to be far below the average. The average number of Suicides per 100k in the EU, seems to be around 11. We can’t help but notice, that the bottom 5 countries are located in the Mediterranean region,while a lot of the leaders in suicides are located in Northern Europe. Perhaps a heatmap could provide clearer insights to understand if the location of a country has influenced the number of suicides. Suicides per 100k population per Country Greece is on the right side of this chart
  5. 5. By creating a Heatmap of the number of suicides per 100k, we can easily observe, that while the Mediterranean Region (Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, Italy, Malta, Spain) has very low suicide rates, the Northern regions, especially the North-East part, seems to be facing a problem. With Lithuania as an extreme case, countries such as Latvia, Estonia and Finland, which are located in the same region seem to be facing similar suicide issues. The same is true for countries of the former Yugoslavia, such as Croatia and Slovenia and their neighboring countries (Hungary, Serbia, Poland). Heat map of suicides per 100k in Europe Northern Europe seems to be facing a problem The bottom countries are known for their quality of life, due to the Mediterranean climate, sea, sun and more relaxed lifestyle. On the other hand, a lot of the top countries are characterized by harsh climates and a generally poorer way of living.
  6. 6. The first mind-blowing insight of our analysis, comes when we plot the number of suicides (per 100k), for the 2 genders. In both Greece and the EU as a whole, men commit suicide 3.5x more than women, between 2011-2015. This is a paradox, since women are the ones who most commonly report suffering from depression and anxiety and they are also more under-represented in the various sectors of the economy. Perhaps the reason for this phenomenon, is that men are more easily overwhelmed by the responsibilities of life. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9560163 Suicides per 100k population by Gender Greece vs. EU as a whole Men commit suicide 3.5x more than women
  7. 7. Trying to discover if the over-representation of men in suicides holds true only for some countries, we discover that in all countries of the EU, the majority of suicide victims are men. The percentage of women as suicide victims ranges from around 15% in Poland, to around 25% in the Netherlands. Percentage of suicides by Gender in the European Union The over-representation of men in suicides is universal across the EU.
  8. 8. Trying to understand whether age is an important factor, we discover that in most of the EU, indeed, people of older age, especially 75+ were over-represented in the suicides’ rate per 100k population. The same hold true for Greece as well, even if the difference between the 3 oldest age groups is not as evident as the EU as a whole. Also, in both cases, the likelihood of suicide increases when advancing to an older age group, therefore we can claim that the older someone is, the more likely they are to commit suicide. Suicides per 100k population by Age Group Greece vs. EU as a whole Does age play an important role?
  9. 9. Creating a trellis-like plot (using the “facets” feature of ggplot), for the different age groups over the years 2011-2015, we can see that in all age groups who are older than 15, the suicides rate is decreasing. Even if the rate is increasing in the age group “5-14”, its absolute numbers are very low compared to the other age groups. Percentage of suicides by Gender in the European Union 5-14 is the only age group with a growing suicide rate, but the absolute numbers are pretty small.
  10. 10. How suicides vary by Gender and Age Group in GREECE By creating an animated box plot, we can see that there are significant differences between the 2 genders, but also between the different age groups. More specifically, for femals the rates are fairly low in all age groups, while for men, the sucide rates are higher, especially in the 3 older age groups. The suicide rate in Greece varies significantly based on Gender and the different Age Groups
  11. 11. Creating a trellis-like plot (using the “facets” feature of ggplot), for the different age groups over the years 2011-2015, we can see that in all age groups who are older than 15, the suicides rate is decreasing. Even if the rate is increasing in the age group “5-14”, its absolute numbers are very low compared to the other age groups. Percentage of suicides by Gender in the European Union 5-14 is the only age group with a growing suicide rate, but the absolute numbers are pretty small.
  12. 12. Suicides per 100k by Generation Greece vs. EU as a whole The younger generations (Millennials and Generation Z) are significantly under-represented in the sample. On the other hand, the Silent generation, Baby Boomers and Generation X have the majority of suicides. Compared to Greece, in the EU as a whole there is a slight over-representation of the Silent Generation. In both Greece and the EU as a whole, the distribution of Generations is fairly similar.
  13. 13. Using a scatterplot and a linear model, we can try to understand whether there is a linear relationship between the number of suicides per 100k of population and the GDP (per capita) of each country. However, the results seem to imply that it’s not that simple. More specifically, we can see all kinds of variations from the linear line, with Lithuania at the top being the most prominent outlier. Suicides per 100k vs. GDP (per capita) in the European Union There is not a linear relationship between Suicides and GDP.
  14. 14. Suicides per 100k vs. GDP per capita (Trend) GREECE If we plot the Suicides per 100k against the GDP per capita in Greece for the years 2011 – 2015, we can see that a the decrease in GDP per capita in the previous years, is accompanied by an increase in suicides per 100k population. These observations might be a manifestation of how the economic crisis between 2009-2015 has had severe consequences (other than financial) in the Greek society. Economic slowdown in Greece might relate to an increase in suicides.
  15. 15. Finally, we can see an animated version of the previous scatter plot, that also incorporates the population of each country as the size of each bubble. From this plot, we can still not observe a significant relationship between the suicides per 100k and the per capita GDP of the countries. What we can observe, is that about half the countries of the EU have similar GDP per capita and similar Suicide rate per 100k of population. Suicides per 100k vs. GDP (per capita) vs. Population in the European Union
  16. 16. Key Findings Greece has lower suicides than the EU as a whole. Countries in the Mediterranean have low suicides while Nothern Europe has high suicide rates. Men are significantly more likely to commit suicide compared to women. The over-representation of men is universal across all countries in the EU. The likelihood of suicide increases with age. While not true for the whole EU, in Greece the economic slowdown might relate to an increase in suicides. 1 4 2 5 3 6
  17. 17. THANK YOU for your attention Sotiris Baratsas MSc in Business Analytics sotbaratsas[at]gmail[dot]com

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