Original Article

Spatiotemporal Patterns of Suicide in Korea From 2009 to 2019 Using Geographic Information Systems


Department of Psychiatry, Gyeongsang National University Changwon Hospital, Changwon, Republic of Korea


Department of Psychiatry, Gyeongsang National University, College of Medicine, Jinju, Republic of Korea


Division of Health Administration, Gwangju University, Gwangju, Republic of Korea


Department of Psychiatry, Gyeongsang National University Hospital, Jinju, Republic of Korea

Alpha Psychiatry 2023; 24: 51-55
DOI: 10.5152/alphapsychiatry.2023.221011
Keywords : Suicide, geography, Korea
Read: 604 Downloads: 279 Published: 30 March 2023

Objective: When analyzing factors related to suicide, it is necessary to consider the regional characteristics of the areas where individuals live in addition to individual factors. This study aimed to investigate the spatiotemporal association between suicide rates and geographic features and the patterns of this association for all administrative areas in South Korea from 2009 to 2019.

Methods: The data used in this study were obtained from the National Statistical Office of the Korean Statistical Information Service. For suicide rates, age-standardized mortality index data per 100 000 people were used. All administrative districts from 2009 to 2019 were divided into 229 regions. Emerging hotspot analysis was used for a 3-dimensional analysis to simultaneously evaluate temporal and spatial clusters.

Results: In the 229 regions, there were 27 (11.8%) hotspots and 60 (26.2%) cold spots. Hotspot pattern analysis found 2 (0.9%) new spots, 1 (0.4%) persistent spot, 23 (10.0%) sporadic spots, and 1 (0.4%) oscillating spot.

Conclusion: This study found geographic differences in the spatiotemporal patterns of suicide rates in South Korea. The utilization of national resources for suicide prevention should be selectively and intensively prioritized in 3 areas that exhibit unique spatiotemporal patterns.

Cite this article as: Lee D, Park J, Kim B, et al. Spatiotemporal patterns of suicide in Korea from 2009 to 2019 using geographic information systems. Alpha Psychiatry. 2023;24(2):51-55.

EISSN 2757-8038