On an average around 15 persons committed suicide every hour across the country in 2014, according to data released by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). As many as 1.31 lakh persons committed suicide across the country last year, with Maharashtra having the highest number of cases in any state. Among major cities, Chennai topped the list.
NCRB data also revealed that 69.7 per cent of those who ended their lives by committing suicide earned an annual income of less than Rs 1 lakh, and that one out of every six suicides was committed by a housewife.
Maharashtra had 16,307 suicide cases in 2014, followed by 16,122 cases in Tamil Nadu and 14,310 cases in West Bengal. They accounted for 12.4 per cent, 12.2 per cent and 10.9 per cent respectively of suicide cases across the country, as per NCRB data.
Among major cities with a population of over 10 lakh, Chennai had the highest number of suicides at 2,214 deaths, followed by 1,906 in Bangalore, 1,847 in Delhi, 1,196 in Mumbai and 1,064 in Bhopal.
Chennai, Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai together reported almost 34.7 per cent of the total suicides reported from 53 mega cities. These four metropolitan cities have shown a declining trend during 2014 over 2013, except Delhi city, where an increase of 5.4 per cent was observed – from 1,753 suicides in 2013 to 1,847 suicides in 2014.
Rate of suicides, the number of suicides per one lakh population, has been widely accepted as a standard yardstick for comparison, the NCRB said. The all-India rate of suicides was 10.6 in 2014.
Puducherry reported the highest rate of suicide (40.4) followed by Sikkim (38.4), Andaman and Nicobar Islands (28.9), Telangana (26.5), Kerala (23.9) and Tamil Nadu (23.4). The suicide rate in cities (12.8) was higher as compared to all-India suicide rate (10.6).
‘Other Family Problems’ and ‘Illness’ were the major causes of suicides among the specified causes in 2014, accounting for 21.7 per cent and 18 per cent respectively of total suicides.
‘Marriage Related Issues’ (5.1 per cent), ‘Love Affairs’ (3.2 per cent), ‘Drug Abuse/Addiction’ (2.8 per cent), ‘Bankruptcy or Indebtedness’ and ‘Failure in Exam’ accounted for 1.8 per cent each, ‘Unemployment’ (1.7 per cent), ‘Poverty’ (1.3 per cent), ‘Property Dispute’ (0.8 per cent), ‘Death of Dear Person’ (0.7 per cent) were other causes of suicides.
The overall male to female ratio of suicide victims in 2014 was 67.7 to 32.3, showing a marginal increase of male and marginal decrease of female ratio as compared to 2013 (67.2:32.8). The proportion of female victims were more in ‘Marriage Related Issues’ like non-settlement of marriage, dowry related issues, extra-marital issues and divorce.
Housewives accounted for 47.4 per cent of the female victims (20,148 out of 42,521) and nearly 15.3 per cent of total victims who committed suicides (20,148 out of 1,31,666). Government servants accounted for 1.7 per cent of the total victims as compared to 4.7 per cent victims from private sector enterprises. Victims from Public Sector Undertakings have accounted for 1.1 per cent of the total victims, whereas students and unemployed victims accounted for 6.1 per cent and 7.5 per cent of suicides, respectively. Self-employed category accounted for 19.7 per cent, out of which 9.4 per cent of victims were engaged in the field of agriculture and 7.5 per cent in business.
Hanging (41.8 per cent), consuming poison (26 per cent), self-immolation’ (6.9 per cent) and drowning (5.6 per cent) were the prominent means of committing suicide in 2014. Only 2.83 per cent suicide victims were graduates and above. Primary educated, middle educated and illiterate individuals accounted for 19 per cent, 20.2 per cent and 14.3 per cent respectively of total suicides victims.