New Delhi: India recorded over 1.64 lakh deaths due to suicides in 2021 – an average of nearly 450 daily or 18 every hour, with the figures reaching the highest for any calendar year so far, according to official data.
Of those who died by suicide, there were nearly 1.19 lakh males, 45,026 females, and 28 transgenders, data from the National Crime Records Bureau’s ‘Accidental Deaths & Suicides in India – 2021’ report showed.
A sharp rise in such deaths has been noticed in 2020 and 2021 as compared to years before the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, the data suggested.
In 2020, 1.53 lakh deaths by suicide were recorded across the country, according to the data of NCRB, which functions under the Ministry of Home Affairs.
The report showed that the number of suicide deaths in 2019 was 1.39 lakh, in 2018 it was 1.34 lakh, and in 2017 it was 1.29 lakh before it spikes over the 1.50 lakh mark in 2020 and 2021.
The NCRB has been compiling suicide death data since 1967 when the country had reported 38,829 such fatalities in the calendar year.
It was in 1984 that the number of suicide deaths crossed the 50,000 mark for the first time in the country and it crossed the 75,000 mark in 1991, the official figures from the corresponding time period showed.
However, it was in 1998 that the number of suicide deaths crossed the 1 lakh mark as 1.04 lakh such fatalities were recorded that year, the figures showed.
“There are various causes of suicides like professional or career problems, sense of isolation, abuse, violence, family problems, mental disorders, addiction to alcohol, financial loss, chronic pain, etc,” the NCRB said in its annual report for 2021.
The NCRB also said that it collects data on suicides from police-recorded suicide cases.