An interesting article at AEON talking about something that is apparently well known in certain circles, but of which I was unaware:
In his classic Le suicide (1897), Durkheim presented aggregate indicators suggesting that Protestantism was a leading correlate of suicide incidence. The proposition that Protestants have higher suicide rates than Catholics has been ‘accepted widely enough for nomination as sociology’s one law’.
Protestant countries today still tend to have substantially higher suicide rates. This fact suggests that the relation of religion and suicide remains a vital topic. Every year, more than 800,000 people commit suicide worldwide, making it a leading cause of death, in particular among young adults.The article looks at research on suicide rates in 19th century Prussia, when apparently there were careful records kept, and it was also easy to account for the mix of Protestant and Catholics in different counties. The research apparently confirmed the Protestant suicide connection:
As a consequence of this geographic pattern of diffusion, the share of Protestants is higher near Wittenberg. So is the suicide rate. The share of Protestants in a county is clearly positively associated with the suicide rate. The average suicide rate is notably higher in all-Protestant counties than in all-Catholic counties. Numerically, the difference in suicides between religious denominations in Prussia is huge: suicide rates among Protestants (at 18 per 100,000 people per year) are roughly three times higher than among Catholics.OK, interesting.
Next up, I would like some sociological/economic research on why some intensely Catholic countries develop well entrenched criminal gangs that will cause death and mayhem on a remarkable scale, while the gang members still nominally think of themselves as decent Catholics - the Mafia in Italy, the drug cartels in Mexico and some other Central and South American countries; the corruption in The Philippines. Is it just a case of Catholicism not being as good as Protestantism at creating wealth, so the poverty in those countries is the breeding ground for criminal gangs?