More suicides among unemployed, self-employed than farmers in 2018: Report

An average 35 unemployed and 36 self-employed people ended their lives every day in 2018, with the two categories together accounting for 26,085 suicide deaths during the year, according to government data.

Unemployed persons (12,936) were slightly behind those self-employed (13,149) who took their own lives, while both categories outnumbered the suicide figures of those working in the farming sector 10,349 -- in 2018, according to data compiled by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).

Overall, 1,34,516 suicides were reported in the country during 2018, showing an increase of 3.6 per cent in comparison to 2017. The rate of suicides, which means deaths per one lakh population, also increased by 0.3 per cent during 2018 over 2017, the NCRB stated.

"Housewives accounted for 54.1 per cent of the total female victims (22,937 out of 42,391) and constitute nearly 17.1 per cent of total victims who committed suicides during 2018, the NRCB said in its report released recently.

"Government servants accounted for 1.3 per cent (1,707) of the total suicide victims as compared to 6.1 per cent (8,246) of total victims from private sector enterprises. Employees from public sector undertakings formed 1.5 per cent (2,022) of the total suicide victims, whereas students and un-employed victims accounted for 7.6 per cent (10,159) and 9.6 per cent (12,936) of total suicides respectively," it said.

"Self-employed category accounted for 9.8 per cent of total suicide victims (13,149)," it added.

According to the NCRB, 10,349 persons involved in farming sector (consisting of 5,763 farmers or cultivators and 4,586 agricultural labourers) committed suicides during 2018, accounting for 7.7 per cent of total suicides victims.

"Out of 5,763 farmer or cultivator suicides, 5,457 were male and 306 were female during 2018. Out of 4,586 suicides committed by agricultural labourers during 2018, 4,071 were male and 515 were female, the report stated.

Overall, the majority of suicides were reported in Maharashtra (17,972) followed by 13,896 suicides in Tamil Nadu, 13,255 in West Bengal, 11,775 in Madhya Pradesh and 11,561 in Karnataka, accounting for 13.4, 10.3, 9.9, 8.8 and 8.6 per cent of total suicides, respectively, the NRCB said.

These five states together accounted for 50.9 per cent of the total suicides reported in the country, it added.

The NCRB, under the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, is responsible for collecting and analysing crime data as defined by the Indian Penal Code and special and local laws in the country.

Medical experts, however, say that suicide is a serious public health problem but are preventable with timely, evidence-based and often low-cost interventions.

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