Checked my methods & math
One way I check my work is by running my formula against another source of statistical information. If you go to the following link and follow the instructions, you'll see how suicide rates per 100,000 per year are calculated:
default to 2000-2003
select the report button
select health indicators/diseases/deaths/injuries/suicides
You will see that for the 3 years in the table, there were 3,572 suicides.
The suicide rate per year was 10.5 (raw calculation). From another website*, you will learn that the state census was 11,353,140 in 2000. That is our denominator for all three years. The variance in the denominator over the three-year period is so small as to make no difference.
3,572/3 = 1190.667 suicides per year
(1190.667/11353140)*100000 = 10.48755 suicides per 100,000 citizens per year. This puts us at the official rate of 10.5 for each of the three years. The rate for my state, btw, is not much different from the rate for the entire U.S.
If you run the report back through 1994-1996, youâ€™ll see there hasnâ€™t been a whole lot of change over the period of 1994-2003. Suicide rates remain very stable over time in the general population of a given geographic area. The 10.5 stat for my state is not really that much different than the WHO stat for the world at 16 per 100,000 per year. Yeah, I'd say there's a significant difference, but that difference isn't as great as the range between the WHO stat and TFI special population stats.
I figured out that Claire's 20 years = 1983-2003, because '83 is when The Family was born and COG died.
Now for TFI estimates:
32,000 former members over 20 years = 1,600 per year
11 suicides over 20 years = .55 suicides per year
(.55/1600)*100000 = 34.375 suicides per 100,000 former members per year
If we extend the timeline to 30 years at 1,600 per year, we must also extend the suicide numbers at .55 for the additional 10 years, which is something I didn't do in my second calculation posted at exfamily. The results are the same if we extend the average over another 10 years. The assumption of 1,600 former members per year remains stable as the denominator, just as the base population of 11,353,140 remained stable as the denominator in the ODH website's calculation for 2000-2003.
The problem as I see it is that the number of suicides in TFI are probably increasing as the Second Generation ages, so itâ€™s not entirely accurate to compare TFI to general population suicide rates, which remain stable over long periods of time. The rate also will increase as the First Generation moves into their 60s & 70s, although many of these deaths will look more like accidents than suicides. (Notice how suicide is classified under injuries?)
Regardless of the comparison issues, you can see that TFIâ€™s rate for 20 years is atrocious at 34 per 100,000 per year. It's far, far above WHO estimates for 2000-2003. Most public health agencies calculate their numbers on the same time frames, btw, because there is a global move toward reporting standardized health data.