BEIJING - A person tries to kill themselves in China every two minutes, the government and state media said Thursday, giving the country one of the highest suicide rates in the world.
China's suicide rate is 22.23 people out of every 100,000, the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention said on its website.
"Our nation has one of the highest rates of suicide in the world," the Beijing Youth Daily quoted Beijing Health Bureau spokesman Mao Yu as saying.
About 287,000 people kill themselves in the country of 1.3 billion every year, while about two million try to commit suicide annually.
China marks World Suicide Prevention Day on Saturday, according to the Beijing Youth Daily.
The disease control centre said suicide is the biggest killer among Chinese aged 15 to 34.
Extreme pressure to perform well at school and to find employment were the main reasons behind the high rate of suicide among China's youths, media said.
Suicide rate up sharply
The suicide rate in rural areas is three times higher than in urban centres and accounts for 75 per cent of China's suicide total, it said.
According to the Guangzhou Daily, the number of suicides in China has risen sharply during the reform and open period, when the nation's economy has boomed.
A person attempts to commit suicide in China every two minutes, the paper said.
In 2009, the British medical journal The Lancet identified Lithuania, Finland, Latvia, Hungary, China, Japan and Kazakhstan as all having exceptionally high rates of suicide, 20 per 100,000 people or higher.