Korea: Suicide ‘leading cause of death among teenagers’
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Korea: Suicide ‘leading cause of death among teenagers’

Original article in Korean is at this link.

A study has found that suicide is the leading cause of death among teenagers in our country. In the past five years 101 elementary, middle, and high school students have taken their own lives, or about two deaths per month.

On the 24th the Center for Freedom of Information and Transparent Society (투명사회를위한정보공개센터) published its analysis of statistics it requested from the National Statistical Office (통계청), finding that from 2007 through 2009 suicide was the leading cause of death among those aged 15 to 24.

The suicide rate in that age group was 13.2 per 10,000 in 2007, 13.5 in 2008, and 15.3 in 2009, increasing yearly. After suicide the top causes of death were auto accidents, which accounted for 9.7 deaths per 10,000 in 2007, 9.2 in 2008, and 8.4 in 2009. In contrast to the increasing suicide rate, deaths from auto accidents fell each year.

The study found that suicide deaths increased with school age.

Kim Hyeong-tae, a member of the education committee in the Seoul City Council, says that statistics of the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education show that  101  students committed suicide from 2008 through March of this year. That figure includes one elementary student, 27 middle school students, and 73 high school students.

There were 24 youth suicides in the city 2008 and 2009, 27 in 2010, and 18 last year. There have been eight suicides through March of this year, an average of 1.98 per month.

Although the two cities are of course very different, just for comparisons’ sake the statistics appear to be twice as high in New York City.