People living in the southern states have higher propensity to commit suicide than those living in the poorer and more heavily populated northern states, the latest data on suicides released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) show.
A majority of those committing suicide, however, were from poorer backgrounds and married. Family issues and illness accounted for most such deaths.
The data on “Accidental Deaths and Suicides” for 2019 released by the NCRB also show that the highest share of suicides is among daily wage labourers followed by housewives, self-employed and unemployed people. Farmers account for only 7.4% of all suicides.
According to the data, more than 1.39 lakh people committed suicide in the country with Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka accounting for almost 50% of all suicides.
However, if the rate of suicides (number of suicides per 1 lakh of population) is compared statewise, it shows the southern states have far higher rates of suicide than the northern ones.
Kerala, Karnataka, Telangana and Tamil Nadu are in the top 10 when it comes to rate of suicides. In fact, in the top 10 states and Union territories in this category, only Chhattisgarh and Tripura could be classified as non-prosperous states.
According to the data, while the all-India rate of suicides is 10.4, the rate of suicides in Kerala is 24.3, Telangana 20.6, Tamil Nadu 17.8 and Karnataka 17.1.
Compare this to states such as Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand — among the poorest in the country. At 0.5, Bihar has the lowest suicide rate in the country among states. UP recorded a suicide rate of 2.4 and Jharkhand 4.4.
All states in southern India beginning from Maharashtra have suicide rates higher than the national average. Maharashtra’s is 15.4, Goa 16.8 and Andhra Pradesh 12.4.
‘Family Problems’ and ‘Illness’ were the major causes of suicides in 2019, accounting for 32.4% and 17.1% of total suicides, respectively.
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