Nearly 40 people committed suicide daily last year, up from 35 in 2008
, according to the National Police Agency Wednesday.
A total of 14,579 people took their own lives in 2009, up 18.8 percent from 12,270 the previous year.
By age group, those aged 60 and above comprised 4,614 or 32 percent of the total suicides
― indicating that more senior citizens are at risk
― followed by people in their 40s at 2,770 or 19 percent.
Though people in their 20s made up only 12 percent at 1,749
, this represented a jump of 29 percent from 2008
, and 35 percent over the last three years.Around 28 percent of suicides took their own lives due to psychological problems
, followed by 22 percent because of physical illness
. Economic, domestic and love issues were next in the top five reasons
"Statistics show suicides are rising sharply nationwide, though it's hard to pinpoint a single reason for the increase. Society as a whole should make greater efforts to stop people killing themselves," a police officer said.
News of people committing suicide comes out almost every day. On Monday, a man in his 40s and his 6-year-old son were found dead
in his room in Goseong, Gangwon Province, in what is seen as an apparent murder/suicide
, police said.
They had died from inhaling toxic gas from burnt coal briquettes in a sealed room. The man left a suicide note, saying: "I don't want to live anymore."On May 12, a total of eight bodies were found in apparent group suicides
in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province and Chuncheon, Gangwon Province.
Three men were found in an inn with burnt briquettes in a sealed room. The other four women and a man burned briquettes inside a car. Police suspect they plotted their deaths through Web sites encouraging suicide.Korea has the top suicide rate among members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
As of 2008, 24.3 people out of 100,000 killed themselves, about 10 times the 2.5 out of 100,000 for Greece. Korea was the only country with more than 20 suicides per 100,000 people.