Health Policy Manag.  2019 Mar;29(1):77-81. 10.4332/KJHPA.2019.29.1.77.

Suicide Related Indicators and Trends in Korea in 2017

  • 1Department of Public Health, Yonsei University Graduate School, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Institute of Health Services Research, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea.
  • 3Department of Preventive Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Suicide is a major public health issue that causes over 800,000 deaths each year globally. Korea ranks high in suicide rates, in which around 24.3 per 100,000 individuals are reported to have died by intentional self-harm in 2017 according to Statistics Korea. The aim of this study was to examine the current status and trend of suicide ideation and attempt using data from the following five sources: Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination (KNHANES, "˜07-13, "˜15-17), Korean Community Health Survey (KCHS, "˜08-09, '13, '17), Korean Wealth Panel Study (KOWEPS, "˜12-17), Korea Health Panel Survey (KHP, "˜10-13), and Statistics Korea (1983-2017). Suicide ideation and attempts were also further examined based on equalized household income levels. Data published by Statistics Korea were used to show the updated suicide rate and number of deaths by intentional self-harm. The rate of suicide ideation at the recent year was 4.73% (KNHANES, "˜17), 6.96% (KCHS, "˜17), 1.63% (KOWEPS, "˜17), and 5.39% (KHP, "˜13). That of suicide attempts as recent year was 0.71% (KNHANES, "˜17), 0.32% (KCHS, "˜17), and 0.09% (KOWEPS, "˜17). Annual percentage change of suicidal ideation was −15.4% (KNHANES, "˜07-17), −2.5% (KCHS, "˜08-17), −8.6% (KOWEPS, "˜12-17), and −10.9% (KHP, "˜10-13). Annual percentage change of suicide attempts was −4.0% (KNHANES, "˜07-17), −4.4% (KCHS, "˜08-17), and −14.9% (KOWEPS, "˜12-17). Individuals with lower income levels were more likely to experience suicide ideation and attempts. Considering that Korea still shows a high suicide rate despite the continuously decreasing trend of suicide ideation and attempt, continuous observation and appropriate policy implementation regarding suicide related problems are necessary.


Suicide; Suicidal ideation; Suicide attempts; Income level; Korea
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