South Korea's suicide rate has been the highest in the developed world for over a decade

Louis Dor
Tuesday 01 September 2015 18:00

South Korea’s suicide rate has been the highest among developed countries for over a decade.

According to OECD figures the country replaced Hungary in 2003, whose suicide rate has seen steady decline over the years.

The rate of deaths by intentional self-harm in South Korea for 2013 was 29.1 suicides per 100,000 people, compared to an OECD average of 12 per 100,000.


South Korea bucks the trend for OECD countries (whose suicide rates in general have decreased in recent years), rising 28 per cent between 2002 and 2013.

There have been several studies into the connections between media coverage of celebrity suicides and sharp increases in the general population, as well as studies into links with the countries' comparatively high internet usage and addiction levels.

According to 2014 data by Statistics Korea, suicide was the No. 1 cause of death among people aged 10 to 39.

Guyana saw the highest suicide rate in the world for 2012, 44.2 people per 100,000.

The suicide rate in the United Kingdom has stayed below the OECD average for over a decade. 2013 saw a peak of 7.6 suicides per 100,000 people in the UK.

For 2013, Turkey had the lowest suicide rate at 2.6 people per 100,000.

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