Suicide Horror: Over 381 suicide deaths in India every day, one death every four mins

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3 women medical students commit suicide; college blamed

As Sushant Singh Rajput’s unnatural death case continues to grab national headlines and the debate rages on as to whether it was suicide or murder, India’s suicide data has just been released by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).

As per the report, as compared to 1,34,516 suicide deaths in 2018, India’s suicide count stood at 1,39,123 in 2019. The suicide rate, calculated on the basis of per lakh of population, stands at a worrying 10.4.

Slicing of the data throws up extremely disturbing facts. Over 381 people took their lives everyday, which means India saw one death due to suicide every four mins in 2019.

Majority of the suicides were reported from Maharashtra which saw 18,916 cases followed by 13,493 suicides in Tamil Nadu, 12,665 suicides in West Bengal, 12,457 suicides in Madhya Pradesh and 1,288 suicides in Karnataka accounting for 13.6 per cent, 9.7 per cent, 9.1 per cent, 9.0 per cent and 8.1 per cent of total suicides respectively. These five states together accounted for 49.5 per cent of the total suicides reported in the country.


‘Family Problems’ and ‘Illness’ were the major causes of suicides which accounted for 32.4 per cent and 17.1 per cent of total suicides respectively during 2019.

‘Drug Abuse/Addiction’ (5.6 per cent), ‘Marriage Related Issues’ (5.5 per cent), ‘Love Affairs’ (4.5 per cent), ‘Bankruptcy or Indebtedness’ (4.2 per cent), ‘Failure in Examination’ and ‘Unemployment’ (2.0 per cent each), ‘Professional/Career Problem’ (1.2 per cent) and ‘Property Dispute’ (1.1 per cent) were other causes of suicides.


The overall male to female ratio of suicide victims for the year 2019 stood at 70.2:29.8,
which is more as compared to 2018  ratio of 68.5:31.5.

The proportion of female victims were more in ‘Marriage Related Issues’ (specifically in ‘Dowry Related Issues’), and ‘Impotency/Infertility’.

The age group (18 – below 30 years) and persons of 30 years – below 45 years of age were the most vulnerable groups resorting to suicides. These age groups accounted for 35.1 per cent and 31.8 per cent suicides respectively.

‘Family Problems’ (2,468), ‘Failure in examination’ (1,577), ‘Love Affairs’ (1,297) and ‘Illness’ (923) were the main causes of suicides among children (below 18 years of age).


Like previous year, ‘Hanging’ (53.6 per cent), consuming ‘Poison’ (25.8 per cent), ‘Drowning’ (5.2 per cent) and ‘Fire/SelfImmolation’ (3.8 per cent) were the prominent means of committing suicide


The numbers of suicides in 53 mega cities show an increasing trend during 2016 to 2019.
It increased by 1.7 per cent (to 21,240) in 2017 and increased by 0.8 per cent (to 21,408) in 2018. It increased by 4.6 per cent (to 22,390) in 2019.

Out of the Mega Cities, the four Metropolitan Cities — Chennai (2,461), Delhi City (2,423), Bengaluru (2,081) and Mumbai (1,229) reported higher number of suicides.

These four cities together have reported almost 36.6 per cent of the total suicides reported from 53 mega cities across the country.


  • An increase was observed in suicides during 2019 (1,39,123 suicides) as compared to
    2018 (1,34,516 suicides).
  • Suicide rate in cities (13.9) was higher as compared to all-India suicide rate (10.4).
  • ‘Family Problems (other than marriage related problems)’ (32.4%), ‘Marriage Related
    Problems’ (5.5%) and ‘Illness’ (17.1%) have together accounted for 55.0% of total
    suicides in the country during the year 2019.
  • Overall male:female ratio of suicide victims was 70.2:29.8.
  • Nearly 68.4% of the male victims were married whereas the ratio was 62.5% for female
  • 12.6% victims of suicide were illiterate, 16.3% victims of suicide were educated upto
    primary level, 19.6% of the suicide victims were educated up to middle level and 23.3% of suicide victims were educated up to matric level. Only 3.7% of total suicide victims
    were graduates and above.
  • Suicide by ‘Hanging’ (53.6%), Consuming ‘Poison’ (25.8%), ‘Drowning’ (5.2%) and ‘SelfImmolation’ (3.8%) were the prominent means of committing suicides.
  • Maximum cases of mass/family suicide were reported from Tamil Nadu (16) followed by Andhra Pradesh (14), Kerala (11) and Punjab (9) and Rajasthan (7).

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