Black men in their 20s have been committing suicide at a steadily increasing rate during the past six years, according to city officials and a study released by the D.C. Department of Human Resources.
The study also found that suicides by older white residents who lived in fashionable, upper northwest sections of the city has increased faster during this same period than suicides by other group here.
These were the major findings of a statistical study of the city's death certificates from 1971 to 1975, which were supplemented with the 1976 report of the city's chief medical examiner.
During this period, the report said, 530 Washington residents were known to have committed suicide. Nearly 100 of the suicide victims lived west of Rock Creek Park - the highest number of victims for any section of the city.
In Anacostia, where unemployment is high and large numbers of residents are poor, the suicide rate was the lowest in the city. There were 32 suicides in Anacostia during the six-year period.
According to the DHR report, there were 185 suicides by black males in Washington during the six-year period. The rate of suicides by black males in Washington increased from 9.5 per 100,000 in 1971 (when it was lower than the original city rate of 10.7 to 15.7 per 100,000 in 1975. The median age of black males in Washington committing suicide from 1971 to 1975 was 29. According to the report, the median age for black females [TEXT OMITTED FROM SOURCE]