A little-noted puzzle is that many of [the happiest] places have unusually high rates of suicide. While this fact has been remarked on occasionally for individual nations, especially for the case of Denmark, it has usually been attributed in an anecdotal way to idiosyncratic features of the location in question (eg the dark winters in Scandinavia), definitional variations in the measurement of well-being and suicide, and differences in culture and social attitudes regarding happiness and taking one’s life. Most scholars have not thought of the anecdotal observation as a systematic relationship that might be robust to replication or investigation…this paper attempts to document the existence of a happiness-suicide paradox: happier areas have a higher percentage of suicides.Suicide rates are a puzzle. New York and New Jersey have lower suicide rates than most other US states, Hawaii one of the highest rates. In the United States the suicide rate for whites is much higher than the suicide rate among blacks.
It is hard to show that suicide correlates well with anything other than a society's acceptance of it; Japan, which has probably romanticized suicide more than any other nation, has a famously high rate. The only other correlation that really stands up to scrutiny is a connection with altitude; in the US, high-elevation counties have significantly higher suicide rates than others. Nobody knows why.