Suicide in India
In 2016 the number of suicides in India had increased to 230,314. Suicide was the most common cause of death in both the age groups of 15–29 years and 15–39 years.
About 800,000 people die by suicide worldwide every year, of these 135,000 (17%) are residents of India, a nation with 17.5% of world population. Between 1987 and 2007, the suicide rate increased from 7.9 to 10.3 per 100,000, with higher suicide rates in southern and eastern states of India. In 2012, Tamil Nadu (12.5% of all suicides), Maharashtra (11.9%) and West Bengal (11.0%) had the highest proportion of suicides. Among large population states, Tamil Nadu and Kerala had the highest suicide rates per 100,000 people in 2012. The male to female suicide ratio has been about 2:1.
Estimates for number of suicides in India vary. For example, a study published in The Lancet projected 187,000 suicides in India in 2010, while official data by the Government of India claims 134,600 suicides in the same year.
The Government of India classifies a death as suicide if it meets the following three criteria:
- it is an unnatural death,
- the intent to die originated within the person,
- there is a reason for the person to end his or her life. The reason may have been specified in a suicide note or unspecified.
If one of these criteria is not met, the death may be classified as death because of illness, murder or in another statistical.
|Causes||No. of people|
|Bankruptcy or indebtedness|
|Marriage Related Issues (total)|
|(including) Non Settlement of Marriage|
|(including) Dowry Related Issues|
|(including) Extra Marital affairs|
|Failure in Examination|
|Other Family problems|
|Death of dear person|
|Fall in social reputation|
|Ideological causes/Hero worshipping|
|Physical Abuse (Rape, etc.)|
|Causes not known|
The southern states of Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu along with eastern states of West Bengal, Tripura and Mizoram have a suicide rate of greater than 16 while it is less than 4 in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Puducherry reported the highest suicide rate at 36.8 per 100,000 people, followed by Sikkim, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. The lowest suicide rates were reported in Bihar (0.8 per 100,000), followed by Nagaland and Manipur.
Age and suicide in India
In India, about 46,000 suicides occurred each in 15–29 and 30–44 age groups in 2012 – or about 34% each of all suicides.
Method of suicide in India
Poisoning (33%), hanging (26%) and self-immolation (9%) were the primary methods used to die by suicide in 2012.
In 2012, 89% of the suicide victims were literate, higher than the national average literacy rate of 74%.
Suicide in cities
There were 19,120 suicides in India's largest 53 cities. In the year 2012, Chennai reported the highest total number of suicides at 2,183, followed by Bengaluru (1,989), Delhi (1,397) and Mumbai (1,296). Jabalpur (Madhya Pradesh) followed by Kollam (Kerala) reported the highest rate of suicides at 45.1 and 40.5 per 100,000 people respectively, about 4 times higher than national average rate. There is a wide variation in suicide rates, year to year, among Indian cities. As well in Punjab suicide rate increase for bank issues.
On average, male suicide rate is twice that of females. However, there is a wide variation in this ratio at the regional level. West Bengal reported 6,277 female suicides, the highest among all states of India, and a ratio of male to female suicides at 4:3.
Domestic violence is a major risk factor for suicide in a case study performed in Bangalore. However, as a fraction of total suicides, violence against women – such as domestic violence, rape, incest and dowry – accounted for less than 4% of total suicides.
Suicide motivated by politics
Suicide motivated by mental illness(Depression)
Farmer's suicide in India
India's economy vastly depends on agriculture with around 60% of its people directly or indirectly depend upon it. Different reasons like droughts, low yield prices, exploitation by middlemen and inability to pay loans lead Indian farmers to die by suicide.
Student suicides in India
According to 2015 data from the National Crime Records Bureau, 8,934 students are committing suicide every year. That's one student every hour. Despite being one of the most advanced states in India, Maharashtra has the highest number of student suicides with 1230 of the 8930 suicides occurring here (14%) and Tamil Nadu has the second highest with 955 of the 8934 suicides (10%).
Every hour one student commits suicide in India, with about 28 such suicides reported every day, according to data compiled by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). The NCRB data shows that 10,159 students died by suicide in 2018, an increase from 9,905 in 2017, and 9,478 in 2016.
Many suicides are attributed to the intense pressure and harsh regimen of the students in cram schools (or coaching institutes). These institutes offer coaching to high school students for various competitive exams, such as the JEE or NEET.
Suicide in the Indian Armed Forces
In India, suicide was illegal and the survivor would face jail term of up to one year and fine under Section 309 of the Indian Penal Code. However, the government of India decided to repeal the law in 2014. In April 2017, the Indian parliament decriminalised suicide by passing the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017 and the act commenced in July 2018.
Approaches to preventing suicide suggested in a 2003 monograph include:
- Reducing social isolation
- Preventing social disintegration
- Treating mental disorders
- Regulating the sale of pesticides & ropes
- Promoting psychological motivational sessions and meditation and yoga.
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