Death rate for suicide in South Korea 2012-2017 by age group

Although the suicide rate in South Korea has slightly decreased for each age group over the past few years, it is still among the highest across developed countries. The rate of death by suicide was particularly high within the elderly population at 70 deaths per 100,000 resident population aged over 80 years. Across the entire population, suicide ranks as the fourth most common cause of death.

A societal problem?

Poverty among the ageing population is one driving factor – almost half of the senior citizens in the country live below the poverty line. Many do not want to become a burden for their family financially and commit suicide as a result of not being able to support themselves.

For the younger population, cyberbullying, education pressure as well as social media trends have been linked to suicidal behavior, contributing to a higher than average suicide rate for grade and college students.

As a result of the elevated rate of suicide in the country, the South Korean government implemented the Strategies to Prevent Suicide (STOPS) project. This initiative aimed to increase public awareness, as well as to increase government support in relation to suicide prevention. On top of this, South Korea’s education ministry also created a smartphone app that can be used to detect suicidal language in students’ social media posts and messages.
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Deaths by suicide per 100,000 resident population in South Korea from 2012 to 2017, by age group
10 to 19 years old20 to 29 years old30 to 39 years old40 to 49 years old50 to 59 years old60 to 69 years old70 to 79 years oldOver 80 years old
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