King County Has More People Killing Themselves and Fewer Killing Each Other, Report Says

On the one hand, apparently fewer and fewer people are getting murdered and killed in traffic accidents in King County. On the other hand, more and more are simply killing themselves.

That's the take-home tidbit from the new annual report released by the King County Medical Examiner's Office that chronicles all the county's deaths. This one's from 2009, since it takes about a year to sort them all out.

In all, the KCME estimates there were 12,967 deaths in King County last year and, of those, 2,190 were investigated by the medical examiner, including 1,226 which received autopsies.

So, of those 2,190 investigations, the breakdown for causes was: 989 natural deaths, 632 accidental deaths, 253 suicides, 141 traffic deaths, 63 homicides and 59 deaths due to undetermined reasons.

Each one with a mom and a dad and likely some folks who cried at their funeral.

Here's a chart that compares the reasons for death from the last 10 years.

death report01.jpg

As the chart shows, suicides jumped about 20 percent over their nine year average of 211 to 253, while homicides fell about 20 percent and traffic deaths fell 29 percent.

All this while the total number of deaths itself climbed to its highest rate yet.

Not sure whether this makes the city any more or less enviable in terms of how its residents can expect to die. But hey, we'll take the drop in murders and traffic deaths any day.

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