Long-term trends show 10 or 11 out of every lakh Indians commit suicide while the proportion of youth — those aged between 15 and 29 — has increased from 35 per cent of all suicides in 2004 to 41 per cent in 2014.
For that age group, data with the National Crime Records Bureau show, suicide was the second leading cause of death after accidents. Across age groups, the suicide rate was 10.5 suicides per lakh population in 2004 and 10.6 per lakh in 2014.
There are no epidemiological studies conducted to find out what is causing an increasing number of young individuals to take their lives. “Most public attention in India has focused on suicide in farmers. The age-specific and sex-specific death totals, rates, and risks, as well as the mode of suicide in India’s diverse socio-demographic populations, are not well understood,” said a 2012 paper titled Suicide mortality in India: a nationally representative survey, published in Lancet.
NCRB data on the distribution of suicides by profession show the proportion has come down for most groups, barring students — from 4.9 per cent of all suicides in 2004 to 6.1 per cent in 2014 — and “others”, whose suicides rose from 13 per cent to 31 per cent in 2014. The most drastic drop was among the self-employed, from 40.6 per cent to 19.7 per cent. Suicides among housewives dropped 5 points to 15%, among those in service 3 points to 7 %, and among the unemployed 1 point to 7%.