Illustrating Global Health: Deaths Due to Intentional Injury in Three Countries

Over the next few weeks I’ll be publishing interesting infographics I come across while spending happy hours trawling the visualisation tools for the Global Burden of Diseases Study 2010.

This is the first really striking one I’ve come across – the relative contributions of interpersonal violence and self harm to premature death in three countries: Japan, the United States, and South Africa. The Y axis shows the proportion of all potential life lost in each age group which is attributable to these causes.


As you can see, the burden of death from suicide in Japan is substantial, while deaths due to interpersonal violence are almost unheard of.

The United States is more middle of the road, with much more of an even split. This highlights something often left out of the gun control debate, which is the fact that there are almost twice as many firearm suicides in the USA each year than firearm homicides.


South Africa, on the other hand, has far fewer reported deaths due to suicide, but a huge number due to interpersonal violence, particularly among young adults.


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