SEOUL, Feb. 7 (Korea Bizwire) — The suicide rate among young South Koreans in their 20s marked a sharp increase last year compared to the figure recorded in 2016.
The number of suicides among young people between the ages of 21 and 30 stood at 1,501 in 2020, up 32 percent from 1,137 in 2016, said Rep. Han Moo-kyung of the main opposition People Power Party, citing data from the National Police Agency.
The share of those aged under 30 in the total number of suicides has been on an upward trend, rising from 11.4 percent in 2016 to 11.9 percent in 2018 and 14.9 percent in 2020.
The suicide rate among those between 21 and 30 years of age shot up by about 3 percentage points from 8.7 percent in 2016 to 11.7 percent in 2020.
The primary factors behind the increase in suicides were psychiatric problems, followed by economic issues and physical disease.
Some experts attributed the sharp increase in the suicide rate among young people to an increase in socioeconomic stress.
In fact, the share of those in their 20s was the highest among bipolar disorder patients.
According to the National Health Insurance Service, there were 111,731 people suffering from bipolar disorder in 2020, up 35.2 percent from 2016, of which those in their 20s accounted for the largest share at 23,479.
M. H. Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)