Suicides Due to Economic Hardship on the Rise

  • By Kim Hyeong-won

    November 13, 2019 13:05

    More people have killed themselves over their financial woes since President Moon Jae-in took office in May 2017.

    According to data from the National Police Agency, suicides decreased steadily from 13,658 in 2014 to 12,426 in 2017, only to rise to 13,216 last year. Males accounted for 72 percent of suicides last year. Suicides have also been rising among people in their 20s and 30s.

    Police cited economic hardship, psychological problems, domestic issues, disease, problems in relationships and disputes at work as the key triggers.

    The number of suicides caused by economic hardship stood at around 3,000 between 2014 and 2016 but began to rise again in 2017 to reach 3,390 cases last year.

    Liberty Korea Party lawmaker Kim Do-eup, who released the data, said, "The number of suicides for other reasons is declining steadily, but suicides due to economic hardship increased markedly. Cheong Wa Dae claims it has improved people's livelihoods, but the numbers tell an appalling story."

    The NPA tallies suicide statistics based on the number of unnatural deaths that have been reported, unlike Statistics Korea, which compiles them based on death certificates. But Statistics Korea data also show suicides increasing in 2018 for the first time in five years.

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