Five states in India accounted for fifty percent of suicide deaths that took place in the country in 2021. These states include Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal & Karnataka.
This was revealed in the Accidental Death & Suicides in India (ADSI) 2021 report released by National Crime Record Bureau on August 28, 2022. More than 1.6 lakhs people gave up their lives in the year 2021. While only five states contributed to more than half of these incidents, contrary to normal beliefs, states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand which are usually called underdeveloped reported very less cases of suicides.
According to the NCRB’s report, 1,64,033 people gave up their lives in the year 2021. These numbers were slightly more when compared to 2020 with a spike of 7.2% of such cases taking place.
The report contains suicide data for each and every state and various metro cities. Maharashtra reported most of the cases of suicides counting to 22,207(13.5%) followed by Tamil Nadu(11.5%) standing at 18,925.
Madhya Pradesh & West Bengal stood at third & fourth positions counting to 14,965(9.1%) & 13,500(8.2%) respectively .
Southern state Karnataka stands in the fifth position with 13,056 (8.0%) cases of suicide. These numbers add up to 82,653 (50.4% ) of the total cases, causing a concern.
Telangana, another southern state reported 6.2% of the total cases whereas Kerala followed with 5.8% of the total cases.
The rest of the cases of suicide were reported in 31 states or union territories. Uttar Pradesh, despite having the largest population in the country, reported only 3.6% of cases of suicide of a total of 1,64,033.
Bihar, the state with a very low human development index reported only 827 cases of suicides despite having the second largest population in India. Uttarakhand, Jharkhand & Himachal Pradesh were the states which reported very few cases of suicides.
If we talk about metro cities, Delhi reported the most incidents of suicides (2,760) followed by Chennai (2,699), Bengaluru (2,292) and Mumbai (1,436). These cities accounted for around 35% of incidents out of the total suicide reported in metro cities.
Rate of suicide
The rate of suicide is the number calculated by counting how many people gave their lives by suicide per lac. India’s suicide average is 12 per lac people.
The highest rate of suicide was reported in Andaman & Nicobar Islands (39.7), followed by Sikkim (39.2), Chhattisgarh (31.8) & Kerala (26.9). States like Tamil Nadu, Telangana & Tripura also reported a rate of suicide of over 20.
Meanwhile, Bihar reported the lowest rate of suicides in India(0.7), and Manipur & Uttar Pradesh also reported very low suicide rates (1.5), followed by Nagaland(1.8) & Jammu & Kashmir (2.0).
Reasons of suicides
A report by NCRB also reveals the data about suicides accordingly to their reasons.
Family problems were the biggest reason for suicides fueling 33.2% of total suicides in India, followed by illness (18.6%), Drug abuse (6.4%), marriage-related issues (4.8%) & Love affairs (4.6%).
Several other reasons like poverty, career problems, unemployment & property dispute also caused the suicides.
Men are the biggest victims
According to the report, 72.5% of the persons who committed suicide were men. Whereas 29.4% of women committed suicide out of a total of 100%.
Most suicides by men in the age 18-30 age group & 30-45 age group were committed due to family problems & love affairs. The most common reason for women to suicide was dowry-related issues.
Other important facts from the report
A total of 10,881 persons involved in agricultural activities committed suicides during the year 2021, 5,318 out of those were farmers and agricultural labourers. States like Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha & 9 other states reported zero cases of farmer suicides.
Economic status wise daily wage earners were the biggest group to commit suicide counting for 25.6% of the total cases, followed by Housewives (14.1%) & self-employed (9.7%).
Unemployed persons & students were among the majority of victims to give up their lives counting to 8.4% & 8.0% of the total cases respectively.
Married persons (Male/Female) are the biggest group to commit suicide (1,09,743) followed by unmarried persons (39,401) & widowed (2,485). Data also consisted of reports about the persons such as divorcees, separated & others.
Educationally, persons who received education till matriculate or secondary level committed suicide most (24.0%), Persons who received middle-level education & primary education followed with 19.1% & 15.8% respectively.
Mode of suicide
The most commonly used method of suicide was by hanging. Nearly 57% of victims used hanging as a way to attain death followed by intake of poison (25.0%) & drowning (5.2%). Other common methods used for suicide were self-immolation, jumping & coming under running vehicles or trains.
Suicides, despite being a very worrying issue are often neglected. Society needs to work on improving mental health issues and educating people about the acceptance of the failures in life that can bring down these numbers.