Kathmandu: The rate of suicide among South Korean children and youths rose last year on the back of the continued COVID-19 pandemic, statistical office data showed Tuesday.
The suicide rate per 100,000 people under the age of 17 stood at 2.7 in 2021, up from 2.5 a year earlier, according to Statistics Korea. After surging from 1.2 in 2000 to 2.6 in 2009, the youth suicide rate declined to 1.4 in 2015 before advancing from 2.1 in 2019 to 2.5 in 2020, and to 2.7 in 2021.
It was attributed to the so-called corona blue, or a combined word of coronavirus and blue that refers to widespread depression, caused by the tightened social-distancing rules to counter the pandemic.
The suicide rate for those aged 15-17 slipped from 9.9 in 2020 to 9.5 in 2021, but the rate for the 12-14 age group surged from 3.2 to 5.0 in the cited period. The rate per 100,000 people for those under the age of 17 who suffered child abuse reached a record high of 502.2 in 2021, sharply up from 401.6 in the previous year. It came as children and youths stayed longer at home amid the pandemic.
The rate has been on the rise from 17.7 in 2001 to 109.9 in 2014, surpassing 200 in 2016 and 300 in 2018.