South Korea is notorious for its astronomically high rates of suicide. The trend carries over to members of the Korean American community, even those born stateside. Koreans are three times more likely than other Americans to die from suicide.
Common among Korea-born Korean Americans is the murder-suicide scenario, in which a father in his late 40s or 50s kills his wife and child(ren), then kills himself.
Elderly Korea-born Korean Americans above the age of 70, both men and women, are also known for suicides. This could be because of not wanting to be a burden to their children who are culturally obligated to provide their parents with very comfortable accommodations, which can be taxing financially and mentally. On average, Korean widows outlive their husbands by six years and are at a particularly high risk for suicide.
Women account for around 22 percent of total suicides in the United States, but Korean women make up around 38 per cent of all suicides in their ethnic group – roughly in line with the gender breakdown in South Korea, which has the highest rates of female suicides in the developed world.
Most of the cases below are only from L.A. County and do not include reports from Orange County, where many Koreans in Southern California live.