Traffic accident death rate relatively high, cancer death rate low in Korea

By Won Ho-jung
  • Published : Oct 2, 2017 - 15:33
  • Updated : Oct 2, 2017 - 15:33
The death rate among Koreans caused by traffic accidents is relatively high compared to other developed countries, while the death rate from cancer is relatively low, data showed Monday. 

According to data from Statistics Korea, Korea saw about 10 deaths per 100,000 from traffic accidents in 2016 when calculated by statistical standards used by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

By the latest available data, the only OECD countries that have higher death rates from traffic accidents are Mexico (15.7 deaths, 2014), Chile (12.3 deaths, 2014), the US (12 deaths, 2014), Latvia (11.9 deaths, 2014) and Turkey (10.3 deaths, 2013). 

The number of deaths from traffic accidents is expected to fall in the coming years as new laws requiring seat belts in all seats on all roads goes into effect at the end of this year. Existing seat belt regulations had contributed to decreasing the death rate from 45 deaths per 100,000 in 1995 to current levels. 

In contrast, Korea had one of the lowest death rates from cancer last year. 

Of the 280,827 deaths last year in Korea, 78,194 were from cancer -- calculated by OECD standards, the rate was about 165.2 deaths per 100,000.

Although cancer is the leading cause of death in Korea, the death rate from cancer is the lowest among OECD countries with the exception of Mexico (114.6 deaths, 2014). 

Among deaths from cancer, lung cancer is the leading cause in Korea, making up over one-third of cancer deaths here. Lung cancer is followed by liver cancer, colorectal cancer, and stomach cancer. 

By Won Ho-jung (