SEOUL, Dec. 18 (Korea Bizwire) – The majority of suicides in South Korea take place outside the home, which is in stark contrast to other countries where people opt to die at home, an international study showed on Friday.
The report, published in the latest issue of the journal Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology and based on data collected from eight countries, showed 70.1 percent of South Koreans took their own lives outside the home.
In contrast, the study that examined official death certificates in 2008 revealed that less than half of suicides in the United States, Canada, Mexico, France, Belgium, the Czech Republic and New Zealand took place outside the home.
Numbers for Mexico were the second highest with 46.3 percent of suicides taking place outside a person’s home, while they were the lowest in Belgium where corresponding figures stood at 34.5 percent. In the United States, the rate stood at 41.3 percent.
Rhee Yong-joo, a professor of public health at Dongduk Women’s University in Seoul who took part in the joint study, said that suicides that take place outside the home tend to be more impulsive, while home suicides are more premeditated.
She pointed out that there are usually many obstacles to taking one’s life outside the home.
“There is a need for further research on the connection between suicides and the place of death,” the scholar said.
The findings, which are part of the larger International Place of Death (IPoD) effort, showed that among the eight countries, South Korea had the highest percentage of suicides. Of all deaths in the one-year period, 6.31 percent were due to suicide in South Korea, which is significantly higher than No. 2 France at 2.02 percent. Mexico had the lowest suicide rate at 1.35 percent, with the United States reaching 1.45 percent.
Asia’s fourth largest economy has consistently ranked highest in its suicide rate in the world.