Korea's suicide rate was the highest among member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in 2009 with an average of over 42 people here taking their own lives daily, a government report said Monday.
The number of people who committed suicide reached 15,413 in 2009, becoming the number one cause of death for people aged between 10 and 40 years old here, according to the report by the Ministry of Health and Welfare.
The second most frequent cause of death for people in that age bracket was traffic accidents, followed by cancer.
The total represents 28.4 deaths by suicide for every 100,000 people, the highest among all 33 OECD member countries.
"The government will soon open up suicide-prevention centers throughout the country to help lower the suicide rate that has become a serious social problem," a ministry official said.
A new legislation on suicide prevention passed the National Assembly in March.
Suicide was most frequent among people in their 20s, leading to 44.6 percent of all deaths in that age bracket in 2009.
The number of people who committed suicide more than doubled from 7,056 or 19.3 per day in 1999 to 15,413 or 42.2 per day in 2009, according to the report. (Yonhap)