On a global scale, poverty is probably a bigger predictor of suicide. But within the US there are some clear looking racial differences in depression:
Yes, I know that suicide and depression aren’t the same word. But I figure “depression” is kinda tricky to accurately document, (Is he really depressed, or just kinda bummed?), whereas suicide seems pretty reliable. And since whites and Asians probably have the best access to mental health care, the numbers probably aren’t being skewed by lack of Prozac among the poor.
I remember an article I read a year or two ago, but can’t find now, which found a correlation between depression and intelligence. More or less, the implication as I interpreted it, is that “depression” is functionally a slowing down of the brain, and during intellectual tasks, people who could slow down and concentrate performed better–thus, concentrating and depression look rather similar.
There are other, additional possibilities: people from further north get depressed because it’s dark and cold all winter/as an adaptation to the winters, and so the Finns listen to a ton of Death Metal:
I don’t have a map for Goth music; does anyone listen to Goth anymore? Hot Topic seems to be doing fine at the mall.
Or maybe depression is an evolutionary adaptation to make people more peaceful and cooperative by internalizing their aggression instead of killing other people. Here the difference between whites and blacks seems like a point of evidence, since whites seem to kill themselves at higher rates than they kill others, while blacks kill others at higher rates than they kill themselves. Perhaps aggression/depression can be toggled on and off in some way, genetically or, in the case of folks with bi-polar, in a single individual.
Asians, I suspect, are also depressives, but have lower aggression than whites, so they don’t kill themselves very often. Also, I don’t know what kinds of music they like.