Psychiatry Investig.  2018 Apr;15(4):376-383. 10.30773/pi.2017.08.02.

A Comparative Study of Suicide Rates among 10–19-Year-Olds in 29 OECD Countries

  • 1Hallym University Suicide and School Mental Health Institute, Anyang, Republic of Korea.
  • 2Mental Health and Communal Society Research Center, Kwangwoon University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
  • 3Department of Psychiatry, Hallym University Sacred Heart Hospital, Anyang, Republic of Korea.


OBJECTIVE: This study had two main objectives: to compare current suicide rates in OECD countries among 10–19-year-olds and to identify patterns of suicide rates based on age, gender and time. Furthermore we investigated the main dimensions that contributed to the variation in child and adolescent suicide rates across countries.
We combined the WHO mortality data and the population data released by OECD to calculate the suicide rates in 29 OECD countries. A self-organizing map (SOM), k-means clustering analysis, and multi-dimensional scaling were used to classify countries based on similarities in suicide rate structure and to identify the important dimensions accounting for differences among groups.
We identified significant differences in suicide rates depending on age, sex, country, and time period. Late adolescence and male gender were universal risk factors for suicide, and we observed a general trend of declining suicide rates in OECD countries. The SOM analysis yielded eight types of countries. Most countries showed gender gaps in suicide rates of similar magnitudes; however, there were outliers in which the gender gap was particularly large or small.
Significant variation exists with respect to suicide rates and their associated gender gaps in OECD countries.


Suicide; Child; Adolescent; OECD; Comparative study
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