Simon Sinek claims in this video (at about 9:40min) that the suicide rates and the accidental drug overdoses among young people from the so-called "millennial" generation are increasing at the moment. Is that true? Are there reliable statistics backing this claim?

  • Does he state how the rate is measured? # per year? If it's total suicides within any age group, not a rate in a given timeframe, then that's a number than can only grow. Commented Apr 11, 2017 at 15:14
  • No, he doens't mention how it is measured. But I suppose he doesn't mean the cumulated numbers but a number per timeframe.
    – Ethunxxx
    Commented Apr 11, 2017 at 15:31
  • Depends on whether the aim is to honestly inform, or to misinform to sell product or further an agenda. :D Commented Apr 11, 2017 at 15:43

1 Answer 1


Suicide: Yes (New York Times, study), but not just millennials:

Suicide in the United States has surged to the highest levels in nearly 30 years, a federal data analysis has found, with increases in every age group except older adults. The rise was particularly steep for women. It was also substantial among middle-aged Americans...

Accidental Drug Overdoses: Again Yes (New York Times), if by "millennial" you mean "young whites":

Drug overdoses are driving up the death rate of young white adults in the United States to levels not seen since the end of the AIDS epidemic more than two decades ago — a turn of fortune that stands in sharp contrast to falling death rates for young blacks, a New York Times analysis of death certificates has found.

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    It's pretty disingenuous for him to say its a millennial thing. There is an age group that statistically dies by intentional self harm the most, this age group currently contains millennials. In 2006 the total was 1.6% now its 1.9% so its not a huge surge, just funny business with statistics. 11. abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/[email protected]/DetailsPage/…
    – daniel
    Commented Apr 11, 2017 at 12:14
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    @Daniel I agree that it's disingenuous, and I also think it's somewhat deceptive to ignore groups other than young whites. However, 1.6 to 1.9 is 16%, which I'd call a significant increase - not a "huge surge", but definitely increasing. Wouldn't you? Commented Apr 11, 2017 at 13:17
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    @Daniel 1.6% and 1.9% are 16 and 19 from a thousand, yes? So what's the percentage increase from 16 to 19? Hint: it's 15.7895%, which I rounded up. That's the rational way to describe it, because that gives you the increase in people affected. Commented Apr 11, 2017 at 14:13
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    you mean percentage increase? (1.9-1.6)/1.6 *100 =18.75% ??, I mean its fuzzy descriptions all round and language that is making a difference sound bigger. Anyways like they say when one person dies it's a tragedy when a thousand die it's hilarious.
    – daniel
    Commented Apr 11, 2017 at 15:38
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    @Daniel d'OH, you're right, I did it wrong. But you're wrong, thinking of it as 18.75 % instead of your 0.3% does NOT make the difference sound bigger. It makes it sound like what it is: the difference in the number of people being affected. The percent change in the percentage is a noncommunicative number: numerically valid, but disconnected from the reality under discussion. Commented Apr 11, 2017 at 16:47

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