Number of unemployed who committed suicide in 2018 exceeded the number of farmers who gave up their lives-a trend that has reversed in just the past 2 years. A total of 12,936 unemployed gave up their lives, representing 9.6% of total suicides, as compared to 10,349 in the farming sector which made for 7.7% of total suicides. National Crime Record Bureau's latest data revealed total suicides in the country had risen 3.6% in 2018 to 1,34,516 from 1,29,887 in 2017.
Suicides by the unemployed made up for 9.4% (12,241) of the total suicides in 2017, whereas the farming sector suicides accounted for 8.2% (10,655). In 2016, suicides in farming sector were 8.7% (11,379) of total 1,31,008. This was more than unemployed suicides, which made up 8.5% (11,173) of the total.
In 2015, unemployed accounted for 8.2% (10,912) of total suicides, while farming suicides were 9.4% (12,602) of 1,33,623 suicides committed. Back in 2014, as per the government records the unemployed accounted for 7.5% of the total suicides and the agrararian suicides were 4.3% of the total.
More than 82 per cent in the unemployed suicides category were male victims. Majority of suicides committed by unemployed persons took place in Kerala (1,585) followed by Tamil Nadu (1,579), Maharashtra (1,260), Karnataka (1,094) and Uttar Pradesh (902).
Of the total suicides in farming sector 5,763 were farmers/cultivators and 4,586 were agricultural labourers. Among the farmer/cultivator suicides, 5,457 were male and 306 were female in 2018. Among agricultural labourers, 4,071 were male and 515 female.
Maharashtra saw most deaths (34.7%) followed by Karnataka (23.2%), Telangana (8.8%), Andhra Pradesh (6.4%) and Madhya Pradesh (6.3%). West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Uttarakhand, Meghalaya, Goa and Chandigarh reported "zero" agricultural related suicides. West Bengal and Odisha had also reported zero agricultural deaths in 2017.
The report also revealed the economic status of the victims. Over 66% of suicide victims had annual income of less than Rs 1 lakh. And, 29.1% (39,080 of 1,34,516 victims) of suicide victims belonged to annual income group of Rs 1 lakh and above to less than Rs 5 lakh.