Cases of death by suicide among Indian men have grown over one-third in the past seven years, claimed a report by The Lancet Regional Health. In 2014, 89,129 men died by suicide as against 42,521 women. The ratio rose to 2.64 times in 2021. This year, 1,18,979 males died by suicide against 45,026 females.
The situation was even more concerning among married men. In 2021, married men recorded triple the suicide death rate — deaths per one lakh people– of 24.3 compared to women where this figure was 8.4.
The study on changing patterns of suicide in India pointed out that family problems and health issues were two major factors behind the rising vulnerability of Indian men to suicide. Low suicide among women might indicate better coping mechanisms for dealing with stress.
“Owing to these two reasons, the male-to-female ratio of suicides has increased from 1.9 and 2.5 to 2.4 and 3.2, respectively, during 2014–2021. There was a 107.5% increase in citing family problems as a reason among men during 2014–2021, approximately two-fold of that in women,” the report said.
The findings of the study are based on data from the National Crime Records Bureau.
The suicide death rate remained the highest — 27.2 — among men between the age group of 30-44 years. The SDR spiked nearly 5 points from 22.7 in 2014 to 27.2 in 2021. Between the age group of 18-29 years, the suicide rate saw a steeper rise of 5.6 points from 20 in 2014 to 25.6 in 2021.
Overall, the cases of suicide death among Indian men between 2014 to 2021 grew by 33.5 per cent compared to women where the change was 5.89 per cent.
Among social groups, daily wage workers were at a greater risk of death by suicide. The instances of suicide had nearly tripled between 2014 and 2021. From 13,944 in 2014, cases of death by suicide rose to 37, 751 in 2021 among men involved in daily wage work. In women, the number showed a similar alarming trend– rising from 1,791 in 2014 to 4,246 in 2021.
The report further revealed unemployed men and women both had a high SDR of 48.2 and 27.8, respectively, in 2021.