The number of deaths due to suicides in India reached an all-time high in 2021, the latest data from the National Crime Records Bureau showed.

Last year, 1.64 lakh persons died by suicide, an increase of 7.2% from 2020 when 1.53 lakh persons had killed themselves. In 2019, this figure was around 1.39 lakh, according to the data on accidental deaths and suicides released by the National Crime Records Bureau on Monday.

In 2021, the rate of suicide – the number of death due to suicides per one lakh population – stood at 12. This is the highest rate of deaths from suicides since 1967, the earliest year for which data is available, according to the Hindustan Times. Till now, the highest rate of suicide – 11.3 – was reported in the country was in 2010.

Source: National Crime Records Bureau.

The highest number of suicides were reported in Maharashtra where 22,207 persons killed themselves in 2021. This was followed by Tamil Nadu at 18,925 suicide cases, Madhya Pradesh at 14,965, West Bengal at 13,500 and Karnataka at 13,056.

These five states together accounted for 50.4% of the total deaths by suicides in the country, according to the report.

Source: National Crime Records Bureau.

Domestic problems and illnesses were reported as the major cause of death by suicide in the country last year. They accounted for 33.2% and 18.6% of total suicide cases.

In terms of profession, daily wage earners remained the largest group among suicide victims for the second successive year. At over 42,000 cases, one in four of the recorded 1,64,033 suicide victims in 2021 was a daily wage earner.

In 2020, too, daily wage earners accounted for the highest share of deaths by suicide – 37,666 out of 153,052. The data is significant as thousands of daily wage earners lost their livelihoods during the two pandemic years.

Source: National Crime Records Bureau.

A total of 10,881 persons involved in the farming sector, including 5,563 agricultural labourers, also died due to suicides in 2021, according to the report.

“Housewives accounted for 51.5% of the total female victims [23,179 out of 45,026] and constitute nearly 14.1% of total victims who committed suicides [23,179 out of 1,64,033] during 2021,” the report noted.