The latest revelation by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) on suicide rate in the country should come as a shocker considering the fact that India is seen as one nation that would turn a superpower in the next few decades. On the other hand, it substantiates the Legatum Prosperity Index which ranked the country 91 (out of 110 countries) in the list of world's happiest countries.
According to the NCRB, more than 1,35,585 people committed suicide in India in 2011. This indicates an increase of 0.7% over the previous year's figure, which was 1,34,599.
The number of suicides in the country during the decade (2001-2011) has recorded an increase of 25.0% (from 1,08,506 in 2001 to 1,35,585 in 2010). The increase in incidence of suicides was reported each year during the decade. The population has increased by 17.8% during the decade but the rate of suicides in 2011 was 11.2 which is marginally greater than 10.6 recorded in 2001.
West Bengal has reported the highest number of suicides (16,492) accounting for 12.2% of total suicides, followed by Tamil Nadu 11.8%, (15,963), Maharashtra 11.8%, (15,947), Andhra Pradesh 11.1% (15,077) and Karnataka 9.3% (12,622) of the total suicides in the country. These five States together accounted for 56.2% of the total suicides reported in the country and have registered consistently higher number of suicidal deaths during the last few years.
West Bengal reported the highest number of suicidal deaths in 2009, second highest in 2010 and again reported highest in 2011 accounting for 11.5%, 11.9 and 12.2% respectively of total such deaths in the country.
Among the Union Territories, Delhi has reported the highest number of suicides (1,716), followed by Puducherry (557). Seven UTs together accounted for 1.9% of total suicides in the country.
The States and Union Territoties which have reported significant increase in Suicides in 2011 over 2010 were Nagaland (from 12 in 2010 to 33 in 2011 i.e. an increase of 175.0%) followed by Chandigarh (47.9%), Meghalaya (41.7%), Uttar Pradesh (33.5%), Odisha (23.2%), Uttarakhand (12.8%), Haryana (12.1%), Delhi (11.2%) and J & K (10.8) as compared to the National average of 0.7% while highest number of decrease was reported in Bihar (from 1,226 in 2010 to 795 in 2011).
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