Suicide and Fertility: A Study of Moral Statistics Author(s): Emile Durkheim, H. L.

Sutcliffe, John Simons Reviewed work(s): Source: European Journal of Population / Revue Européenne de Démographie, Vol. 8, No. 3 (1992), pp. 175-197 Published by: Springer Stable URL: . Accessed: 24/01/2012 16:56
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Journal European North-Holland

of Population

8 (1992)



Suicide and fertility:
a study of moral
Emile Durkheim


Translated byHL.


The paper that follows was originally published in 1888, and has been specially translated from the French for this issue of the journal. The author, Emile Durkheim is often described as one of the founding fathers of sociology, and his (1858-1917) contribution to that discipline has certainly been immense. In this paper, which is
characteristic the suicide of rate his work, and the he birth claims rate to demonstrate for the D?partements an inverse of relationship France, and between to explain more

why this relationship was
believe attention that Durkheim's than it has yet

to be expected. We
has much from received population

had the paper translated because we
significance, scientists. and merits



Like many scholars of his day, Durkheim was preoccupied with the issue of social
solidarity. Concerned with what he and many others saw as the malaise of modern

European societies, he believed that its roots were in the way social solidarity had been weakened in these societies in the process of their development. The interests of individual and society had diverged. Progress towards moral individualism had been
undermined One index towards and anomie. egoism by pressures the malaise of was, Durkheim, argued the suicide rate, the for suicide

implied a complete disintegration
1888 paper marked the start of

of the bond between
empirical study of

individual and society. The
suicide, result of which

a major

was his famous monograph Suicide, published in 1897. In this he assembled evidence of social differentials in the suicide rate to support the proposition that it varied inversely with the degree of integration of the social group. The book (published in in 1952) had a profound effect on the development of sociology, and English
continues to have a dominant influence on the study of suicide.

Why should the suicide rate rise when the birth rate declines? Durkheim argues that the greater the vigour and unity of the family?as manifested in a "healthy" birth
rate and a low rate of marital dissolution?the more it serves as a protection against

Correspondence Tropical Medicine,

to: J. Simons, 99 Gower

Centre Street,

for Population London WC1E

Studies, 6AZ, UK.



of Hygiene





- Elsevier



B.V. All



176 E. Harmondsworth. As a rule. of to compare fact one elects them. A critical biogra phy by Lukes {Emile Durkheim?His Life and Work: a Historical and Critical Study. love and work?in lose its role" (quoted in Lukes. a school of duty. and to solve the highly complex which governs problem tion may be to condemn oneself of this axiom alone would by means population than could be more to a partial solution. pointless nothing on the possible of the population and the development pondering in the distant since the answer depends of consumption future. it is no longer enough to discuss the abstract principle of the struggle for life or the likelihood that produc its upper be limit. 1973) provides a comprehensive review and assessment. energy and a word. Such an approach would fairly soon attain at all for." For Durkheim. "If suicide increases when the birth rate declines. it is because these two phenomena are both due in part to a decline in family sentiment. it is assumed that the happiness of individuals and of societies grows hand in hand with the increase in the quantity . The Rules of Sociological Method (1895). In domestic solidarity?familism?was another paper he writes: ". Penguin. the family is a source [foyer] of morality. al the problem consideration of of advancing incapable it is not the only law is a general the law of competition one.. been much analyzed and elaborated. Durkheim / Suicide and fertility suicide. to observe must be chosen with familiar crease the the societies reverse However. John Simons Former joint-editor of the European Journal of Population Suicide and fertility: a study of moral Owing to advances in demography. and often cogently criticized. 186). and The Elementary Forms of Religious Life His work is now the subject of a substantial literature. inwhich his ideas have (1912). 1973. Also. statistics the population question has at last emerged from the logical discussions inwhich the economists had confined it for too long. objects on know can neither a thousand the observer which and one circumstances nor predict. though of social facts. studies what exists before Science seeking already to divine the future and can infer the future only on the basis of the The only way present. a school of life which cannot kindness. Durkheim's other major books were The Division of Labour in Society (1893). discernment.. Today. p. or detrimental is beneficial in which is found the social and in whether population deciding to observe to a people is therefore in which this phenomenon the societies occurs. essential to solidarity in society at large.

For to increase acts these abnormal in number. on the other the reverse were to be true. and it is therefore believed that. But it is of happiness of to degree possible make we social expresses ills in figures. it is dwelling certain that the regular increase in the number of suicides always a serious betokens disturbance in the organic conditions of society. we do not actually have any criterion for evaluating the a society with any accuracy. to infer from this that too high a birth rate is a morbid a social phenomenon.E. is. If. its functions harmonious and well-proportioned. for well-known fact which it is rarer. opposite A number would where of facts seem to which to confirm attention demographers the former of is too dense. We with which can be established that the development of the birth rate is accompa nied by a rise in the number one will be entitled of suicides. If it In countries 1 the population refer to notes drawn already two hypotheses. is more One can suicide are frequent thus have a method have a comparative evaluation of a relatively at our disposal its state of health or sickness. ascertain It is posited whether or not that a society the trends is happier. the reasons for must have increased in number too and. Durkheim / Suicide and fertility 111 which consumes more in of objects need only consumed. It matters or greater This little that resources The truths degree measure. In fact. at the same time. one in consumption increase to which vary if needs they are accordance with those in the birth rate [1]l. For a society to important it is neither nor always necessary feel healthy. conclusion would be implied. of the satisfied is no greater if at the same time they widen is one the economists have in scope. are numerous suicides these have Numbers in square brackets at the end of the paper. The increase in depends common resources and private is only one of these causes and very not even one of the most often of them. Without namely at this juncture on the psychology of this phenomenon. on a multitude which resultant of causes. to solve this problem. But this is to forget how relative increase remains happiness in like the same. but the great deal of coal or consume of all development must be regular. ill. in the Notes section to tackle the much debated problem of population. suffering the organism's be therefore less healthy must power of resistance sure that societies in which than societies in which also have declined. the gap of elementary psychology that Social happiness is a by and large forgotten. the relative number of suicides. . the found hand. for it to use a adequate a lot of meat.

pre is not my intention to dispute these facts. to interpret an excessively if an excessively high birth produces It is the purpose of this study to set out the facts which demonstrate it. result.1 35. menacing therefore. society of func this tioning the manner valve.7 30.2 30. them with rate plethora Malthusianism [2]. Durkheim / Suicide and fertility and they to decline of a in number safety be whenever relieves emigration.000 inhabitants Births per 1. encourages the same cisely this law.5 33.3 35.4 30.2 35.7 Hungary (1864-65) Belgium (1866-75) Netherlands (1869-72) Italy (1864-76) Finland (1869-76) Spain (1866-70) Romania Scotland Mean (?) (?) .5 35. I.4 38.7 32.7 30.178 are in seen E. On could which the basis of regarded these observations as proven alone It by statistics. and and those with are with if one establish results Countries the average birth rate in these two kinds of society. as follows: the most suicides Suicides per 1. and extensive. then suicide.6 37.000.000 the inhabitants (1865-76) 30. In other words.1 34.7 39. Suicide and the birth rate in the various countries are of Europe placed then in one seeks to group countries with most If the European suicides the least in another. are no less numerous low birth rate like to compare and which limit their scope. but I would contrary facts.3 Denmark France Switzerland Austria Bavaria Sweden Norway England Mean (1866-75) (1871-75) (1876) (1873-77) Prussia (1871-75) (Cisleithan) (1871-76) (1871-75) (1866-73) and Wales (1871-76) 267 150 196 133 122 90 81 74 70 131 Countries with the fewest suicides 52 67 35 31 31 17 25 34 36 41.5 38.1 35.9 25.

of this very prolific Germany country raises the average birth rate appreciably. it is because it is a from whom we have borrowed Morselli. To appre It is thus highly the birth influences. in some of the countries not due to. Durkheim / Suicide and fertility 179 are Hence. even at this stage. rather than our field of observation in the others.3 births for every 1.7 in countries with the fewest suicides. Yet there is a preliminary point which must not be neglected. 35. This first step is doubly instructive. If.000 inhabitants. it is simply healthy that we will find the facts we require.He calls for it to be given closer scrutiny [3] and this is shall endeavour to do. an excessively is certainly of suicides number low birth rate.E. rate should single itself out so clearly.7. the influence of a low birth rate on suicide forced is still apparent. in mind ciate the true value of this first piece of evidence. if Prussia and Bavaria the result is as follows: Indeed. that. to look for the elements shows us where of a more complete proof. of all these many remarkable. to acknowledge this. we should be able to acknowledge only a remote and vague relation between suicide and the birth rate. This The mere presence is concerned. and if this was all the proof we had in support of our thesis. the large that.7. in the first of our two groups are removed. one. there are 35. This difference is admittedly not very substantial. Mean Mean birth birth rate: rate: 31. One is bound to attach greater importance to itwhen one reflects that the innumerable conditions low birth rate is at most all the only one case among on which the development of suicide depends. whereas in countries with the most suicides there 33. though he declines to explain it. suicides. . is certainly but to an excessively the case where high birth rate. While providing us with of our a it It in though preliminary admittedly imperfect proof hypothesis. is also And of this disruptive element. turn to a society therefore in which the mean birth enough. France meets this condition only too well. a very high birth rate nor in the countries neither is clearly with those where Indeed. it should be borne in the first group. is not varied prevent suicide. We must rate is low. Countries Countries with most with fewest suicides. despite somewhat the above what we the presence general table. the birth rate tends to encourage in the former.

by the total population figure (N). to calculate the birth rate by eliminating all those elements incapable of reproduction from the N factor. not taking to another. . and is obtained by this method this the is not what life of interests us for is rather the mean the moment. whether crude or specific. the children and the aged. But what figure. or not yet. to fill. also have the deaths. However population capable this is extremely procedure imperfect. level of the gaps figure alone.180 E. but mean excess with the ratio of natural results from the increase. This but where the death is why we are to compare the suicide in the different French going figure D?parte not with ments the birth rate as such. a large number includes of citizens who since the general are not. are into function is performed cannot be assessed on the basis of the birth these to be intended account. reproductive whether the numerous. after subtracting the still-born (So). of the throughout they would appear to reduce the birth of reproducing. In places numerous. termed advantage D?partement to disrupt vital of our growth. they are most rate figure because they increase the denominator N in the fraction So/N. which is lower of births over deaths. Durkheim / Suicide and fertility IL Suicide and vital growth in the French D?partements The birth rate is often measured by dividing the annual number of births. This produces what is termed the crude birth rate. births taken be have either Clearly. on depending are more or less good useful effect of the birth only be in which or weak mortality rate is also very high. in other A particular words. distributed unequally D?partements where on the basis of the birth rate is thus distorted. the manner fertility we this For what in which wish to study is the birth rate in the context of its social function of maintaining society. to the deaths. is the only one which matters to us?can in terms of mortality. This is why it is preferable. This increase account the obvious thus is what has so aptly been also has movements would the great from one merely be The calculated of migratory effect of which investigations. A prolific but one society. where possible. by dividing the annual number of births by the population of childbearing age (from 15 to 50 years for women). is not healthier than one inwhich the birth rate is also lower. and since they are a comparison the country. in other words. rate?and expressed activity may losses which In other this strong to be made the socially words.

I am taking this as calculated by Mr Bertillon years of this century (1801-1869) [5]. Also. Durkheim / Suicide and fertility 181 en In the Compte g?n?ral pour Vadministration de la justice criminelle France and into six groups (1880). these six groups includes only for the first 69 one D?parte ment. Mr Yvern?s divided the D?partements according to the frequency of the annual suicides there between 1830 1880 was seek to ascertain what [4]. calculations since the first of below.E. I have combined itwith the following one in the . Let us therefore in each of these six groups over the same the average vital or a very similar growth period. namely Seine.

6 1.6 Und group (from 21 to 17 annual 3.7 2.6 suicides per 100.5 growth 1.6 3.7 4.3 2.8 Deux-S?vres Tarn-et-Garonne 4.7 2.E.9 5.8 0.6 1. 182 Durkheim / Suicide and fertility Ist group (from 39 to 28 annual suicides per 100.3 Illrd Eure group (from -0.000 inhabitants) [6] Charente-Inf?rieure Vaucluse 2.4 0.9 Seine-et-Oise Seine-et-Marne Marne Oise Mean 2.5 6 5.6 .8 2.7 3.1 Aube 2 Eure-et-Loir Var Mean growth 2.2 3.4 growth 3.7 2 Loir-et-Cher TVth group Doubs Jura Haute-Sa?ne Dordogne Cher Indre Ni?vre 6.7 3.000 inhabitants) Seine-Inf?rieure Aisne 4.000 inhabitants) 2.8 2.49 3.2 5.1 (from 11 to 5 annual suicides per 100.6 4.4 0.9 Basses-Alpes Bouches-du-Rh?ne Pas-de-Calais Ardennes Meuse C?te-d'Or Indre-et-Loire Dr?me Somme Rh?ne Yonne Loiret Mean 5.5 5.000 inhabitants) annual excess of births (Average) per thousand deaths (1801-1869) Seine 2.5 16 to 12 annual suicides per 100.4 7.

3 Tarn Haute-Garonne Gers 1 4.6 5.4 Vth group Corse Creuse Aveyron Loz?re 6.3 3.2 4.6 Haute-Vienne 5.7 5.7 5.5 Calvados [6] H?rault 4 Lot-et-Garonne Orne Sarthe Manche Charente 3.4 2.6 2.4 Vosges Ard?che Landes 7.8 Ille-et-Vilaine Loire-Inf?rieure Morbihan Allier Ain Hautes-Alpes Gard Mean growth 4.8 Haute-Loire Ari?ge 6.3 (from 4 to 2 annual suicides per 100.7 8.9 Mayenne Haute-Marne 3.4 3.3 -0.9 5.E.4 .4 5.9 6.9 5. Durkheim / Suicide and fertility inhabitants) annual excess 183 ?Vth group (from 11 to 5 annual suicides per 100.5 5.6 5.3 0.1 1.1 Basses-Pyr?n?es Vend?e 6.1 4.4 Nord 7 Corr?ze Loire Aude Pyr?n?es-Orientales 6.3 6.1 2.6 4.2 6.5 Hautes-Pyr?n?es Cantal 3.2 Vienne Finist?re 5.7 2.000 (cont.000 inhabitants) 5.) of births (Average) per thousand deaths (1801-1869) Gironde Is?re Maine-et-Loire Saone-et-Loire 3.6 C?tes-du-Nord 5 2.5 4.4 3.1 5.

These last with that but a smooth two no these and parallel are found or exceptions.03 to be precise). we which Furthermore. We to one in inverse proportion vary we have thus compared Admittedly. those D?partements whose almost only is gradually the ratio Then reversed. lie above we find or rather ratio and of mean 82 D?partements natural increase to deaths is 4 per thousand (4. are procedure had to be adopted in view of the multitude local effects ments. In fact.) per annual excess of births (Average) thousand deaths (1801-1869) Lot Puy-de-D?me Mean growth 3. increases. Ilnd and Illrd groups). Durkheim / Suicide and fertility Vth group (from 4 to 2 annual suicides per 100. If we try to ascertain how many D?partements in each of the five groups. is below number be expressed in the following Of the 26 D?partements with the greatest number of suicides (1st.000 inhabitants 1st group Und group Illrd group iVth group Vth group 39-28 100 0 21-1780 20 16-12 32 68 11-540 60 42 13 77 the greatest the groups with Hence. confirms merely as a whole. to be neutralised by taking if instead of confining of the above tables.000 inhabitants) (cont. causes had to which the phenomena the first group to the can therefore conclude another. of random and Their subject. of D?parte number analyse our conclusion. Annual suicides how many below the average are made that they up as follows: mean (%) Above growth mean (%) Below growth per 100. there are 20 where vital growth is below the . suicides manner.6 4.8 3J? These gradual movements tions facts tables increase show as that mean the from suicide natural rate growth displays decreases. The same might also number growth as the of suicides of include the mean. the considered. nothing compared a sufficient the for interrup two social Yet this averages.184 E. the contents for France have ourselves result the we to averages.

procedure. not the suicide rate used is an average figure vital In his limits taken over the five years from 1872 to 1876. Reverse To check procedure let us try the reverse the above Let us result. evidence of the and thus established. Moreover. in view intimidating since the beginning of the century. to the size of their vital growth the D?partements according classify the average seek to ascertain rate for each of suicide and subsequently the groups period growth. into four groups on the basis of the relative . given fact and somewhat task. or more whose than growth corresponds belong three-quarters. has suicide that. more than growth. Admittedly. namely those inwhich the number of suicides is lowest. the 41 D?partements 25. we calculated it for ourselves. IVth and Vth groups. III. of the groups he singles out. this is a short to the one used to determine similar sufficiently these are the only figures available to us. Unfortunately. Durkheim / Suicide and fertility 185 to or to the average. for this mammoth developed determine We shall divide the D?partements value of their mean growth. Compte for each number course.E. he does not indicate the average for each D?partement of suicides Of (over the same period). exceeds the and of the average. us only the upper Mr Yvern?s and lower gives general. have could but the since to be little need there seemed above and below tallies. much is less need to there regularly rate over a very extensive the annual period.

8 52.5 Seine-et-Marne Jura Haute-Marne Dordogne Loiret Ille-et-Vilaine C?te-d'Or Basses-Alpes Lot Sarthe Hautes-Alpes Somme Seine-Inf?rieure Maine-et-Loire Puy-de-D?me Loir-et-Cher Meuse C?tes-du-Nord Cantal 123 141.5 Und Marne group (growth from 2.1 147.4 195. Durkheim - / Suicide and fertility Ist group (growth from 0.3 186 212.3 213.8 61.9 284.3 99.5?20 D?partements) Suicides per million per year.8 273.9 407.3 400.2 84. inhabitants.5?26 D?partements) 380.5 to 4.5 74 388.2 .7 69.7 61.2 58.9 141.2 202.6 to 2.2 219.2 187.7 115. 1872-1876 Eure Calvados Var Lot-et-Garonne Tarn-et-Garonne Seine-et-Oise Gers Orne Oise Charente-Inf?rieure Bouches-du-Rh?ne Aube Eure-et-Loir Gironde Manche Yonne Ain Charente Seine Indre-et-Loire Average suicides 255.3 206.8 96.3 206.7 115.2 199.5 122.6 383.5 221.2 160.5 219.5 84.3 128.7 155.186 E.2 164.

2 IVth group Corr?ze Corse Indre Ari?ge Creuse Vosges (growth from 6 to 8.0 166.9 82.9 74.2 .1 Illrd Landes group (growth from 4.8 144.7 78. Durkheim / Suicide and fertility 187 Und group (growth from 2.9 94.0 108.7 162.7 39.9 97.2 93.8 69.5 146. inhabitants.7 98.5 to 4.6 66.8 55.2 103.6 64.5 to 6?24 D?partements) 83.2 113.1 101.1 Haute-Sa?ne Haute-Vienne Basses-Pyr?n?es Deux-S?vres Finist?re Doubs Aude Tarn Haute-Loire Is?re Gard Aveyron Dr?me Vienne Pas-de-Calais Sa?ne-et-Loire Allier Loire-Inf?rieure Rh?ne Hautes-Pyr?n?es Ni?vre Loz?re Ardennes A verage suicides 118.8 39.5?26 D?partements) (cont.E.9 76.) Suicides per million per year. 1872-1876 Mayenne H?rault Haute-Garonne Aisne Morbihan Vaucluse A ver age suicides 157.6 30.9 297.6 166.9 114.1 54.3?12 D?partements) 69.2 111.0 45.8 208.7 65.7 83.3 28.1 64.

and establish figures to the level of growth. in each of the four groups.000 inhabitants is 138. not a single one being a stage further. Ist group (growth from 0.9 70.3 109.2 (Oise) and the minimum the difference Let us divide between these two extreme (Corse). of the 36 D?partements included in the Illrd and IVth groups. average in the fourth. as growth the follow of If we to confine ourselves to averages. For the 82 D?partements observed.9. how many 28.5?20 D?partements) inhabitants.) Suicides per million per year. To begin with.9 84.2 76.E. increases. ing results. 1872-1876 Pyr?n?es-Orientales Nord 126. rate of growth.0 Ard?che Vend?e Cher Loire Average suicides 78. The group with the lowest growth is the one with the highest suicide rate and. the annual average number suicides for every 1. those with the only five exceed even these five exceptions are all found And in for suicides. we note that.8 This reveals thus provides procedure as clearly the inverse just in each cease of the groups. the third group. how many D?partements there up according are in which of suicides the number in which exceeds 300. is shown between 200 and 101 table: and in the following .6 to 2.6 104. drawn into four parts.6 the number between ranges between 100 and 28. 188 Durkheim / Suicide and fertility (cont.000.e.6. But we can take this analysis The maximum number of suicides is 407. The 300 result and 201. the highest i. confirmation relation we see of the earlier and one and between that suicide we growth declines obtain suicide.

supposition lower than towns is considerably case.E. 183 102 M?zi?res. If the annual derived from these figures average 123.3 to 2. Privas. deaths every year. if our previous that vital growth in anticipated in rural areas.5 6." in rural be areas and 221. and this is a phenomenon true for holds which towns had more than births.5 3 300-201 7 20 5 200-101 5 100-28.48 suicides inhabitants. more are much that is also in other as also ways. areas. the county towns in each D?partement. In 1880. 5 Tulle. Suicide the and vital growth according to the degree of urbanisation of inhabitants This relationship It is well known suicides countries. 71 out of 86 county are the 15 exceptions to the rule: The following observes solely If one Nice.6 to 6.470 suicides in towns.6 Und group Illrd group IVthgroup 2.44 suicides apparent in France. in many other European in towns than in rural is compared with the respective population there were towns per million figures for 1876.6 to 4. Durkheim / Suicide and fertility 189 Total number Growth How many the number D?partements of suicides are ranges there where between: of D?partements 407-301 Ist group -0. 43 266 . Saint-Etienne. there were in rural areas 18. One concerned has only [7].5 to 8. to glance at this table for confirmation of the link IV.895 frequent to 1878. it is that not only is the increase minimal. And the this is indeed [8] Consequently.3 2a 0 0 5 Total 6 0 0 13 8 26 10 13 11 24 4 8 12 28 82 36 a The top two in the class. we find in was it may correct. "From 1873 and that the 15.4 4. but mortality exceeds apparent the birth rate. 231 Ch?teauroux.

400. 4 P?rigueux. 2 Perpignan. Indeed in the same year. but 875. Lille. in 1861 [9]: the birth the birth rate was rate was population The birth rate for Seine was 32. interval of how Apart of a from the fact that it is hard to a can produce such few years we two populations. so that its growth should be equal to over half the growth of the latter.641. 2 Limoges.363 Rural population: 70. from the the results standpoint would be similar. are concerned.1 For For other rural towns. 57 Epinal.5 38.7 growth of the towns and rural Moreover. 3 The total gain in these 15 towns is 1. whereas 71 others Where reaches the the enormous and total urban the deficit in the French figure of 13. of if these two populations Lastly. this unequal areas has been known about for a long time.000 inhabi tants): 13. rather the birth compared growth. it is only one ninth of it.000 inhabitants The first of these ismore than half the second. Maurice Block [10] believes he can explain it by the fact that people get married younger in rural understand difference have areas than an in towns. 1884. rate alone. La Rochesur-Yon.758. the comparison shows the and that suicide growth in the growth made between just these vital . Durkheim / Suicide and fertility Chaumont. Hence.190 62 39 E.661 In other words. 34. the increase is: Urban population: 8.500. 658 Tarbes. rural populations national statistics provide us the following estimates for 1884: Urban population (including all settlements with over 2.000 inhabitants Rural population: 24. areas. In fact. the second would equal not 200. if the first figure is given are than a value of 100.

with industry a precise to them. Vital growth and suicide by professions It is well-known marked their sions taken influence influence influence as read on that on the various of sometimes professions is thus good reason the population also.0 154. It is in less appear on suicide of the professions been studied the influence has most closely.7 246. commerce would place possible to be slightly more at risk than industry.3 and sciences Army 404. Here.3 Law 217. . more professions providing are approximately these relationships we will find an is concerned. Where vital relationship. there are very industrialists [12].000 in each occupation individuals [11]. few suicides Similarly. according aside domestic staff. Property Production Industry Commerce 113.0 618. There the growth Although it is not known in sufficient detail how individual profes that to commit the tendency the profession with and it can nevertheless suicide. have a very to ascertain suicide. statistics on [13]. on more moral deep-seated V. then.E.3 163.3 and Teaching 94. out it being none Italy the that Commerce to allot the highest suicide rate are the liberal lie somewhere in between. the same inverse in France. Durkheim / Suicide and fertility 191 is of a different decline order in growth and depends whose is a phenomenon importance causes.000.1 As we see. and leaving a family of average.3 175. growth few among among farmers. the liberal with among people an enormous We may assume that contingent. the least number of suicides be is farming and the ones with professions. to official French it will be seen that.5 of raw materials 56. in commerce. is the table drawn up by Morselli Number for every of suicides 1.5 324.8 25.7 Transport Public administration Religion Medicine Education Fine Arts Arts 45.

Mr Bertillon with states that they ring to countries put into savings. our intention to maintain that this relationship a contrary. it remains to interpret it. level which is identical in each step on the scale of the birth rate rises it is probable that when the birth a cause is too high. generation disastrous But. 2. Their organisms vigorous a poor birth rate.98. Not only is a society which for individuals sickness and more its own of holding stronger regularly capable its individual rival societies. nature of the one been reveals the abnormal nature of that It has harm and alleged by many sociologists too character the other.192 farmers E. [14]. the fight for survival becomes is increasing cut-throat and individuals find it easier to turn their backs on a life which has . Conclusion Now that we have established the law. and vice are also those with the lowest birth VI. Refer of survival. it once of becomes beyond again a society where reason. The first conclusion to emerge from the foregoing is that the birth rate social Since chooses is a pathological to explain one when it is too low. and over one fifth larger than those of professions. among are over the industrialists. sundry. professions people commit suicide the most rate. It is clear such an investment pointed out what from would what have has been already part of been the future said how is for all and it is not as we the initially.73 among merchants Hence.53 of In persons. members also have more chance against are more and resistant. as we have seen. a low birth rate and an increased to suicide consis tendency and the in ascribing of the abnormal rate tently go hand in hand as we have just indicated. always suicide. rate. On into capital. families and 1. we are justified in them as two phenomena of a similar kind regarding to the former the universally morbid acknowledged latter. Through the parallelism of their development. Durkheim / Suicide and fertility landowning consists the of 3. low a birth spells harm and sickness for society. the liberal versa. one sixth the figure is only 2. and can only malaise increase if this malaise itself increases. for another the population In suicides. farmers a word. though more too fast.74 in the liberal larger where professions. However phenomenon a sign of a it is. men in than those of industrialists. This increases study shows that it spells as well.

not it should a living fact. This is also true of the we have established. can easily rate Although apparently be reconciled. sometimes itself environment In reality. at least within How limits. A on the circum is or is not prolific depending . but what of its cause? Having it. it is highly probable normal. they? Bertillon points organic or suicide is always a symptom itself of an organism which which suicide in disequilibrium. So much the suicide Clearly. the decline But what As Mr to either rate these are rises and vice versa? in the number one or more of suicides common and causes. birth rate particular therefore the explain it is an established truth of two phenomena between relationship is determined race either that the demography to a very extent small only by race. of the relationship the meaning now explain it. Indeed.E. indefi is good area on as an organic of nitely and absolutely. might are always present. and the morbid pathological. for such for thing a struggle. one these two causes it is sometimes the other which sets has greater and which influence sometimes as falling Suicides have sometimes been regarded its stamp on suicide. the increase have in the birth rate. intelligible derive for causes to the compared them. which was organism if the environment germs which But although and not in any way contain would the organism not be able to develop. the latter. Every biological development all phenomena is healthy within is a normal either side of which they become pathological. former result almost from an organic defect and in which the social causes have exclusively played only an incidental from the nature logically reason. its functions being distorted and impaired while it is the is not the environment is healthy. Durkheim / Suicide and fertility 193 become these be There certain birth too much of two hypotheses that the birth forgotten is no limits: rate. that there is no are not both present two causes at once. must out somewhere. we must interpreted certain the birth rate curve falls as is it that. but this disequilibrium may be due social and Sometimes it is the being is tainted. Moreover. is a social and therefore which property life there contradictory. this precise The first of and these cannot role. two facts. An where these perfectly itself was intact would resist the environment. on of the environment is not common the other and are hand. into two major that are absurd those and those that are categories: are those which The reasonable and reasoned. causes.

to which individuals deliberately necessities. are common to suicide and the birth rate and are able to causes of facts causes. A healthy presupposes quite protective men where in turn. probably of and used to domestic solidarity are so are . the it serves are ences fond a communal the pleasures of and prefer these prefer In most life to material cases. in and divorces that where which elsewhere destroy marriages. against family this and unity of the family. All that where these facts show as a protection and that the suicide thrives. and that where are rare. but fixed in an instinctive. mass aware that it is intentional. nervous defective solely as a result of unfortu but also as a result of the poor sociological conditions Often. family strong. closely-knit frequent. These and other facts which might be quoted show that the birth tions than rate on is much less dependent and the morals ideas causes. whereas this is not at all the case in Normandy. are merely in social causes appearing organic fixed within the organism. families. chance variations. the relationship more precisely the exact nature rate to a number of other birth that husbands know from suicide.194 E. true that the D?partements with the largest number the most mental the fewest births are also those with that madness. The number of persons social from a group does systems within nate matings and hereditary not increase predispositions. suicides the former separations the latter. Durkheim / Suicide and fertility stances and the social setting in which it is situated. on which certain hold we organic sway predisposi in a society. of suicides But cases. Although sterility individual sterility may be due to a physiological results from other Moreover. they are multiplying rapidly. well-being. apparently a different form causes account To relate alone for the determine inwhich such individuals find themselves. are strong to withstand these internal conflicts traditions enough a word. the more it possesses the vigour greater rate naturally birth virtue. It is and this on them for organic than one imposed rather submit. with rate. in Canada. are fully state. The French in France have difficulty making good their annual losses. causes. We immunity and fathers much than bachelors from suicide where the are much less at risk childless where is very domestic husbands. are only possible but these. become unthinking fashion. are rare also. like suicide and proves merely stem solely from individual. a sort of discipline. that. and social Consequently. which also less than these let us confer between them. the birth but. does not in large measure. People of Norman stock are extremely fertile on English territory.

own or their children's either their material well-being. such as evolution has made it. not. it is because suicide increases when these two are both a matter When due of in part to a decline in family sentiment. of the birth which are studied. Durkheim / Suicide and fertility 195 or their were nature becom what remains does that matter? It has Whether often been deliberate said that the same. and become of a compact mass with which he identifies and sympathises and which multiplies are thereby his powers of resistance The increased. less strength: isolated he is. brief it is above all the economic consequences the truth that. one has no alternative be and. On the other are smaller. hand. to suggest adds the balance of purely utilitarian this up to a gain or a loss? From disadvantages advantages it is no longer even possible to see what the raison d'?tre of the angle. responsibilities and and sorrows of all kinds Which large families lead to. chilling the heart and breaking the spirit. at least. advantages the worries. So this must for. the individual part his and require. in As rate predominates. leave gaps between them through which being there blows the icy blast of egoism. which is reply that the family lies in the nature of the human organism. less close to each other. to the question. if families this was because the parents were unwilling ing smaller. In his present is created for the state. like Mr Renan. individuals. would is the origin of this beneficent the economic thinks of that one property of the family? It that domestic the extra work. people seek to establish its possible influence on . where weaker. We cause we are looking be the common suicides.E. be to jeopardize This may well not have assumed would such impor so. In the light of individuals. If the birth rate declines. evidence of yet more study provides it is the social point of view which questions. families less fertile. decline in the birth rate implies any Hence. This social a rule. life is the phenomena But what cannot able who be to offer. the better he is equipped for the struggle. against there is only one possible the foregoing. but to family might love as some kind of mechanism nature contrived regard paternal by venture to force them to serve its own ends. a decline have just seen that this provokes in the domestic spirit. but material well-being tance in popular the joys of collective unless life had lost morality some of their importance. man of uniting with certain of his fellows in a community closer purpose or simple than ordinary social relations might friendship it is easy to explain how this need could have arisen The effect is to make consolidated.

interests of individuals. one of the most It is perhaps of them all. p. 1881. marquis Suicide ancien [2] Legoyt. p. en France. But it is also due to other just strictly indicated. We so much of goods. and think that itsmovements considerations is not have just seen can be explained it is essentially condition of and a pointer to the health of societies. . 199. and its increase has been explained by the growing intensity of competition. has been for the marital comparison ranging between it might be interesting growth.25 3rd 21 to 17 150. de la natalit? de. Paris. omit des sciences m?dicales. What determines moreover. which in the map of suicides drawn up by Mr. [4] See Table II. articles entitled and FRANCE encyclop?dique I am including only 82 D?partements in my calculations. Affaiblissement et moderne. depending feelings they or discourage life in the group.2 4th 16 to 12 161 5th 11 to 5 190 6th 4 to 2 185 the irregularity from Apart coincides with the preceding which ones. whose the Alpes-Maritimes has been known for such a demography are not included short time. Yvern?s. moral causes. in other that on the a production by these words. and also the D?partements annexed in 1870. in the sixth this result suddenly appears category. social one of which we have or.6. // Suicidio. Durkheim / Suicide and fertility distribution alone. [5] See Dictionnaire DEMOGRAPHIE. 257. of the fight for survival (Morselli). this plus should have [6] Mr Bertillon's and we have therefore been a minus amended it.000 married results: women Category D?partement of Annual suicides Marital fertility rate 1st 38 133 2nd 28 139. This produces the following 1. p.196 or the E. I have had to and the Savoies. Likewise in the case of Calvados. The same mote is true of suicide. [3] Morselli. We thought rate (number of annual births per fertility 15 and 50 years of age). certain social any effect on most people??s on whether are present or not. if you will. table attributes in our view. 121 et seq. [7] Our sole to make concern. the same in all the foregoing. important Notes [1] See Nadaille. It are too complex to have its variations utilitarian has often been presented as a solution to the conflict of individual interests. calculations?which. pro which. to Eure a growth of +0.

XVII. 195. ancien It probably stems from the fact quite exceptional. Suicide La France [10] Statistique Il suicidio. article II. [11] Morselli. Durkheim / Suicide and fertility 197 [8] Legoyt. entitled NATALITE in Dictionnaire encyclop?dique des sciences m?dicales. XLVII. [14] Bertillon. et VEtranger. et moderne. 38. 2e s?rie. [9] Legoyt. 490.E. p. II. [13] 2e s?rie. I. [12] The immunity of industry in Italy is even that Italian industry is also underdeveloped. . 63. de France.

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