Accidental Deaths & Suicides in India 2021


Published in August 2022, this report is the 55th edition of the Accidental Deaths & Suicides in India report. It is a statistical record of deaths caused due to accidents and suicides in India for the year 2021. The report was released by the National Crime Records Bureau under the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.

The report states that 1,64,033 cases of suicides were recorded in the country during 2021, marking an increase of 7.2 per cent over cases recorded in 2020. As high as 25.6 per cent of all suicide victims in the country during 2021 were daily wage workers.

This 298-page document is divided into two parts: Accidental Deaths (Part I) and Suicides (Part II). Part I contains ‘Accidents in India’ (Chapter 1) and ‘Other Causes-Traffic Accidents’ (Chapter 1A). It covers data on different types of accidental deaths – those caused due to forces of nature and ‘other causes’ such as road, railway and traffic accidents. Part II contains ‘Suicides in India’ (Chapter 2). It includes data on causes of suicides; suicide trends in States/UTs; suicide victims by age, sex, profession, social, economic and educational status; means adopted for committing suicide; suicide in cities; and mass/family suicides.


  1. The suicide rate – number of suicides per one lakh of the population – in India was 12 deaths in 2021. The rates of suicide were highest in Andaman and Nicobar Islands (39.7 deaths), Sikkim (39.2 deaths), Chhattisgarh (31.8 deaths), Puducherry and Kerala (26.9 deaths each).

  2. Out of the total suicides committed in states and union territories in India during 2021, 13.5 per cent were recorded in Maharashtra, followed by Tamil Nadu (11.5 per cent), Madhya Pradesh (9.1 per cent), West Bengal (8.2 per cent) and Karnataka (eight per cent).

  3. About 33 per cent of all suicides were recorded as caused by ‘family problems’ and illness caused 18.6 per cent of all suicides. Other major causes of suicides were reported to be drug abuse or alcohol addiction (6.4 per cent), bankruptcy or indebtedness (3.9 per cent) and unemployment (2.2 per cent).

  4. As many as 1,724 suicides (1,503 females, 220 males and one transgender) were triggered by issues related to dowry.

  5. About 72.5 per cent of all suicides were committed by men in 2021. Male suicides were higher in cases of illness (21,014 deaths), drug abuse or alcoholic addiction (10,284 deaths) and bankruptcy or indebtedness (5,879 deaths).

  6. In terms of profession, highest suicides were committed by daily wage workers (25.6 per cent) followed by housewives (14.1 per cent) and self-employed persons (12.3 per cent). Unemployed persons made up 8.4 per cent of all suicides committed in 2021. Around eight per cent of the total suicides were committed by students, the report notes.

  7. In 2021, as high as 10,881 persons involved in farming sector committed suicide. These included 5,318 farmers or cultivators (defined in the report as “those whose profession is farming and include those who cultivate on their own land as well as those who cultivate on leased land/other's land with or without the assistance of agricultural labourers”) and 5,563 agricultural labourers (“primarily work in farming sector whose main source of income is from agriculture labour activities”). Persons involved in farming thus accounted for 6.6 per cent of total suicide deaths in the country.

  8. Out of the total suicides committed by students (13,089 deaths), the highest numbers were reported in Maharashtra (1,834 suicides), followed by Madhya Pradesh (1,308 suicides), Tamil Nadu (1,246 suicides), Karnataka (855 suicides) and Odisha (834 suicides).

  9. About 64 per cent of the suicide victims were earning an annual income of less than Rs. 1,00,000. About 32 per cent of the total victims were earning between Rs. 1,00,000-5,00,000 annually, the report adds.

  10. In 2021, 45,026 females committed suicides. The highest number of female suicide victims were housewives (23,178 deaths), followed by students (5,693 deaths) and daily wage workers (4,246 deaths).

  11. The rate of accidental deaths increased from 27.7 deaths per lakh population in 2020 to 29.1 deaths per lakh population in 2021. Those aged 30-45 years were most vulnerable to such deaths and accounted for 30.9 per cent of all accidental deaths.

  12. Out of the total accidental deaths in 2021 – 3,97,530 deaths – 7,126 deaths (1.8 per cent) were due to forces of nature and 3,90,404 deaths (98.2 per cent) were caused due to ‘other causes’ such as traffic accidents, drowning, poisoning and more.

  13. Majority of the deaths due to forces of nature were due to lightning (40.4 per cent) and floods (9.2 per cent) and exposure to cold (8.7 per cent).

  14. Major ‘other causes’ of accidental deaths in 2021 were traffic accidents (44.5 per cent), drowning (9.3 per cent), poisoning (six per cent), falls (5.5 per cent) and accidental fire (2.1 per cent).

    Focus and Factoids by Akshita Hazarika.

    PARI Library's health archive project is part of an initiative supported by the Azim Premji University to develop a free-access repository of health-related reports relevant to rural India.


National Crime Records Bureau, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, New Delhi


National Crime Records Bureau, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, New Delhi


Aug, 2022