Japan Data

Number of Suicides in Japan Rises in 2022

Society Health Family

The total number of suicides in Japan rose by 4.2% in 2022, and there were more than 500 suicides among school students for the first time since records began.

The number of suicides in Japan in 2022 totaled 21,881, an increase of 297 from the previous year. The suicide rate, or number of suicides per 100,000 people, increased by 0.8 to 17.5. This data was compiled by the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare based on statistics from the National Police Agency.

By cause or motive, “health issues” was most common, as a contributing factor in 12,774 suicides, followed by “family issues” (4,775 suicides), and “economic/livelihood issues” (4,697 suicides).

Number of Suicides in Japan

Suicides among men increased for the first time in 13 years, rising by 807 from the preceding year to 14,746. For women, the number increased for a third consecutive year, by 67, to 7,135. By age group, there were most suicides among people in their fifties, with an increase of 475 to 4,093. The figures were also high for those in their forties, with 3,665, and those in their seventies, with 2,994.

Number of Suicides in Japan by Age Group

The number of elementary, junior high, and high school students who took their own lives totaled 514, marking the first time that this figure had exceeded 500 since statistics began being kept in 1980. A contributing factor to this increase is thought to be that more children faced issues due to not being able to communicate properly with their friends and teachers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Number of School Student Suicides

The prefecture with the highest suicide rate was Yamanashi with 24.7. Akita, at 23.7, and Miyazaki, at 22.7, also had high rates. The lowest rate was 12.5 in Tokushima. Tokyo’s rate was 17.1.

The Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare says that in many cases people feel driven to kill themselves because of social issues that can be addressed, so the government is promoting comprehensive suicide prevention measures involving health, medical care, welfare, education, labor, and other fields. It has set up a special website with telephone hotlines, and services on social media, such as Line. The site also provides easy-to-understand information about government measures to prevent suicides.

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo © Pixta.)

suicide COVID-19