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Korea’s suicide rate triples OECD average

November 23, 2013
Actresses Jeong Da-yeon and Choi Jin-shil are just two of many celebrities who took their own lives. (Korea Times file)

Actresses Jeong Da-yeon (left) and Choi Jin-shil are just two of many celebrities who took their own lives. (Korea Times)

Korea has by far the highest number of suicides among 34 members of Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, according to its annual report.

The OECD report for 2011 showed that the rate of suicide in Korea was 33.3 per 100,000 people. It’s not only the highest among member countries, but nearly triples the average of 12.4.

Hungary, Russia, Japan and Slovenia were next with averages of around 20 per 100,000 individuals.

Korea has consistently reported some of the highest suicide rates, not only among OECD countries but the world, indicating that there could be serious social problems involved. In particular, suicide among younger and older generations has been particularly high.

Causes are thought to include domestic instability, excessive emphasis on academic achievement for young people, and difficulty making a living among senior citizens.

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