The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare disclosed that the number of domestic suicides in 2020 had reached 20,919, an increase of over 750 compared to last year. The number of deaths had been decreasing since 2010 though, 2020 representing the first increase in 11 years. It seems that the economic impacts caused by COVID-19 and the drastic changes in home environments contributed to the increase.
According to the source, men accounted for 13,934 of the total deaths (-135 compared to last year), which has been decreasing from a peak 11 years ago; while women accounted for 6,976 of the total deaths (+885 compared to last year). In terms of age groups, those in their 40s accounted for the largest number at 3,225 (+71 compared to last year). Those in their 20s (2,287) saw a 17% increase, and those under 19 (707) saw a 14% increase, seeing the highest numbers in history.
The ministry also stated that “in addition to drastic change of living status due to pandemic, TV report of some celebrities’ suicide (https://jpninfo.com/192600) and another wide range of factors might also contribute to the number.” They also mentioned that the data during the second half of the year seemed to indicate that the number of suicides resulting from the economic issues that resulted from the pandemic seems to have been a main trigger, and that more support for those facing economic difficulties would be needed.
The current numbers are preliminary. The actual numbers will be disclosed in March, so an increase of the numbers currently reported could happen.