Suicide rate in S. Korea 2.6 times higher than OECD average
South Korea's suicide rate was again the highest among the nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), coming in 2.6 times higher than the OECD average, a government report showed on Sunday.
An average of 33.5 people per 100,000 took their own lives in South Korea in 2010, up from 28.4 in 2009, the Ministry of Health and Welfare said in a report, citing the OECD Health Data 2012.
South Korea's suicide rate was far higher than 23.3 in Hungary and 21.2 in Japan, which came in second and third, respectively, according to the report.
Compared with five years ago, the OECD average rate fell, but only South Korea showed an increase in both male and female suicide rates.
The suicide rate of South Korean men rose to 49.6 per 100,000 people in 2010, from 45.1 in 2005, while that of South Korean women increased to 21.4 from 18.6 in the five-year period.
The ministry attributed "complicated socio-economic reasons along with aging population and a growing number of one-person households" to the rising suicide rate in South Korea.
"There is the need to spread the respect for life across the society to prevent suicides," the ministry said in the report.