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 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.
- 1 Definition
- 2 Statistics
- 3 Dynamics
- 4 Legislation
- 5 Prevention policies
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
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 criterion is not met, the death may be classified as death because of illness, murder or in another statistical.
|Causes||No of people|
|Parental pressure in youth education|
|Marriage Related Issues (total)|
|(including) Non Settlement of Marriage|
|(including) Dowry Related Issues|
|(including) Extra Marital affairs|
|Failure in Examination|
|Other Family problems|
|(including) Insanity/Mental illness|
|(including) Other prolonged illness|
|Death of dear person|
|Fall in social reputation|
|Ideological causes/Hero worshipping|
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, 80% 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.
On average, males 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 amongst 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
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.
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.
Four pronged attack for suicide prevention
A four pronged attack to combat suicide suggested in a 2003 monograph was
(1) Reducing social isolation,
(2) Preventing social disintegration,
(3) Treating mental disorders, and
(4) Regulating the sale of pesticides & ropes.
- Värnik, Peeter (2012). "Suicide in the World". Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health. 9: 760–771. doi:10.3390/ijerph9030760. PMC 3367275. PMID 22690161.
- "Gender differentials and state variations in suicide deaths in India: the Global Burden of Disease Study 1990–2016". Lancet. 1 October 2018. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
- Using the phrase ‘commit suicide’ is offensive to survivors and frightening to anyone contemplating taking his/her life. It’s not the same as ‘being committed’ to a relationship or any other use of it as a verb. Suicide prevention (SUPRE) World Health Organization (2012)
- Suicides in India Archived 2014-05-13 at the Wayback Machine The Registrar General of India, Government of India (2012)
- Vijaykumar L. (2007), Suicide and its prevention: The urgent need in India, Indian J Psychiatry;49:81–84,
- Polgreen, Lydia (March 30, 2010). "Suicides, Some for Separatist Cause, Jolt India". The New York Times.
- Patel, V.; Ramasundarahettige, C.; Vijayakumar, L.; Thakur, J. S.; Gajalakshmi, V.; Gururaj, G.; Suraweera, W.; Jha, P. (2012). "Suicide mortality in India: A nationally representative survey". The Lancet. 379 (9834): 2343–51. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(12)60606-0. PMC 4247159. PMID 22726517.
- Suicide Rates – Data by country. World Health Organization 2012. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
- ADSI 2012 Annual Report Archived 2013-08-10 at the Wayback Machine Glossary, Government of India
- "Catalogs/State/UT-wise distribution of suicides by causes". data.gov.in.
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-05-13. Retrieved 2014-04-21.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- Gururaj, G; Isaac, M; Subhakrishna, DK; Ranjani, R (2004). "Risk factors for completed suicides: A case-control study from Bangalore, India". Inj Control Saf Promot. 11: 183–91. doi:10.1080/156609704/233/289706.
- Deshpande, R S (2009), Agrarian Transition and Farmers’ Distress in Karnataka. In D. Narasimha Reddy and Srijit Mishra (eds.) ‘Agrarian Crisis in India’. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, New Delhi.
- "India's Mental Health Crisis". The New York Times. 2014-12-30.
- Bray, Carrick (2016-11-04). "Mental Daily Slams India's Mental Health System — Calls It 'Crippling', 'Misogynistic'". The Huffington Post.
- "Govt decides to repeal Section 309 from IPC; attempt to suicide no longer a crime". Zee News. December 10, 2014. Retrieved December 10, 2014.
- "Mental health bill decriminalising suicide passed by Parliament". The Indian Express. 27 March 2017. Archived from the original on 27 March 2017. Retrieved 27 March 2017.
- THE MENTAL HEALTHCARE ACT, 2017 (PDF). New Delhi: The Gazette of India. 7 April 2017. Archived (PDF) from the original on 21 April 2017.
- Singh A.R., Singh S.A. (2003), Towards a suicide free society: identify suicide prevention as public health policy, Mens Sana Monographs, II:2, p3-16. [cited 2011 Mar 7]
- Deshpande, R S (2002), Suicide by Farmers in Karnataka: Agrarian Distress and Possible Alleviatory Steps, Economic and Political Weekly, Vol 37 No 25, pp2601-10