Study Finds Suicide Rate Among Farmers Higher Than Any Other Occupation

Dec 6, 2017

Credit CCO Creative Commons

Suicide rates among farmers are at a higher rate than other occupation in the United States.

As The Guardian reports, last year, a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that people working in agriculture – including farmers, farm laborers, ranchers, fishers, and lumber harvesters – take their lives at a rate higher than any other occupation.

The rate of suicide for agricultural workers in 17 states, according to the study, was almost five times higher than that of the general population. And according to a 2016 Newsweek article, the rate is double that of military veterans.  

Dr. Mike Rosman, an Iowa farmer and a psychologist, is one of the leading farmer behavioral health experts and often answers phone calls from those in crisis. He said the suicide may be much higher because an unknown number of farmers disguise their suicides as farm accidents.

Rosman said farming has always been a stressful occupation because of the myriad of factors that impact agricultural production, most of which are beyond farmers’ control, such as weather.