Korea's Overall Suicides Fell in Pandemic But Jumped Among Teens

      June 15, 2022 13:34

      The suicide rate in Korea declined in 2020, the first year of the coronavirus pandemic, but rose among young people who found themselves locked away from vital social networks.
      According to the Ministry of Health and Welfare on Tuesday, the number of suicides stood at 13,195, down 4.4 percent on-year in 2020 or 25.7 suicides for every 100,000 people. It declined 19 percent from a peak in 2011.
      Won So-yoon at the ministry said, "Statistics normally show that the suicide rate drops in times of national crises or disasters, but there are also studies showing that they rise two or three years later, so we will keep our eyes on that trend."
      The suicide rate was highest among those aged 80 and older at 62.6 per 100,000, followed by those in their 70s (38.8) and 50s (30.5). It declined among people over 40, but increased among teenagers and those in their 20s and 30s by 9.4 percent, 12.8 percent and 0.7 percent.
      The suicide rate among youngsters aged nine to 24 stood at an alarming 11.1 per 100,000 people, up 12.2 percent. The ministry said, "There had been a steady increase in suicides among teens and people in their 20s even before the coronavirus pandemic."
      Some 38.4 percent committed suicide due to mental problems, followed by financial difficulties (25.4 percent), pain or illness (17 percent) and domestic problems (seven percent).
      Except in 2016 and 2017, Korea has had the highest suicide rate in the OECD.
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