Maharashtra reported the highest number of suicides among all Indian states, followed by Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh, in 2021, a year that saw 1,64,033 such cases across India.
According to the latest National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report, professional or career-related problems, a sense of isolation, abuse, violence, family problems, mental disorders, addiction to alcohol, financial loss and chronic pain are the main reasons behind suicide incidents in the country.
A total of 1,64,033 suicides were reported in India in 2021, a 7.2% increase compared to 2020 (1,53,052). The suicide rate has increased by 6.2%.
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“Majority of suicides were reported in Maharashtra (22,207), followed by 18,925 suicides in Tamil Nadu, 14,965 suicides in Madhya Pradesh, 13,500 in West Bengal and 13,056 in Karnataka, accounting for 13.5 per cent, 11.5 per cent, 9.1 per cent, 8.2 per cent and 8 per cent of total suicides respectively,” the report said.
These five states together accounted for 50.4% of the suicides reported in the country. The remaining 49.6% cases were reported from the 23 other states and eight Union territories.
Uttar Pradesh, the most populous state (with a 16.9% share of the country’s population), has reported a comparatively lower percentage share of suicidal deaths, accounting for only 3.6% of the suicides reported in the country.
Delhi, the most-populous Union Territory, has reported the highest number of suicides (2,840) among the Union territories, followed by Puducherry (504). A total of 25,891 suicides were reported in the 53 mega cities of the country in 2021.
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The rate of suicide, the number of suicides per one-lakh population, has been widely accepted as a standard yardstick for comparison. The all-India suicide rate was 12 in 2021. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands reported the highest suicide rate (39.7), followed by Sikkim (39.2), Puducherry (31.8), Telangana (26.9) and Kerala (26.9).
Out of total 1,18,979 male suicides, the maximum number of deaths by suicides were by daily wage earners (37,751) followed by self-employed persons (18,803) and unemployed persons (11,724). A total of 45,026 females died by suicide in 2021 in the country. Of those females, the highest number (23,178) were housewives followed by students (5,693) and daily wage earners (4,246). A total of 28 transgender died by suicide. Out of 28 transgender, 9 were ‘Unemployed Persons’ and 7 were ‘Daily Wage Earners’, 2 were ‘Self-employed Persons’ and 1 each under ‘House-wives’ and ‘ Professional/Salaried Persons’, while 8 fall under the ‘Other’ category, the report said.
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The number of suicides in 53 mega cities (cities with a population of 10,00,000 or more) show an increasing trend from 2018 to 2021. It increased by 0.8% (to 21,408) in 2018 and increased by 4.6% (to 22,390) in 2019. It increased by 6.5% (to 23,855) in 2020 and increased by 8.5% (to 25,891) in 2021.
Out of the mega cities, the four metropolitan Cities — Delhi City (2,760), Chennai (2,699), Bengaluru (2,292) and Mumbai (1,436) have reported a higher number of suicides. These four cities together have reported almost 35.5% of the total suicides reported from 53 mega cities. Delhi City has shown a decline during 2021 over 2020. Chennai has shown an increase of 11.1% (from 2,430 suicides to 2,699 suicides), Bengaluru 4.4% (from 2,196 suicides to 2,292 suicides) and Mumbai has observed an increase of 12.0% (from 1,282 suicides to 1,436 suicides).
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(Suicides can be prevented. For help please call Suicide Prevention Helplines: Neha Suicide Prevention Centre — 044-24640050; Aasara helpline for suicide prevention, emotional support & trauma help — +91-9820466726; Kiran, Mental health rehabilitation — 1800-599-0019, Disha 0471-2552056, Maithri 0484 2540530, TN health helpline 104 and Sneha’s suicide prevention helpline 044-24640050.)