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Suicide Deaths, Higher than Deaths from Traffic Accidents

Suicide Deaths, Higher than Deaths from Traffic Accidents

Posted September. 25, 2003 23:18,   


With the sudden increase in traffic accidents in the past ten years, the number of people who died in traffic accidents surpassed those who took their lives for the first time.

According to `the 2002 Statistics on the Causes of Death` compiled by the National Statistical Office, Korea`s suicide rate increased 96.9% from 9.7 per every 100 people in 1992 to 19.13 people in 2002.

Meanwhile, the death rate relating to traffic accidents dropped from 34.4 people in 1992 by 44.5% to 19.12. Thus the number of those died in traffic accidents was found to be smaller than those who died in suicide.

By age, people in their forties, who work the most actively in the society among all ages, accounted for 20.3% of those committed suicide, followed by those in their thirties (19.1%), those older than 70 (17.3%), those in their fifties (14.7%), sixties (14.0%), twenties (11.8%) and teenagers (2.7%).

Korea`s suicide rate is higher compared to other countries.

`The Age Standardization Death Rate` of OECD, data which took into account age differences of the member countries shows that the nation`s suicide rate is 18.7, the fourth highest among OECD member, following 27.4 of Hungary, 21.2 of Finland and 19.9 of Japan.

Lee Hong-sik, psychiatrist at Severance Hospital of Yonsei University said, “As people are stressed out by bad economic conditions and the rapid collapse of families after the Asian financial crisis, the suicide rate rose dramatically. Aggressive countermeasures such as a suicide prevention program are needed.”

Jin-Hup Song jinhup@donga.com