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India has Highest Number of Suicides in the World
Sep 27, 2014

India accounted for the highest estimated number of suicides in the world in 2012, according to a WHO report which found that one person commits suicide every 40 seconds globally.

  • In the WHO South-East Asia Region, the estimated suicide rate is the highest as compared to other WHO regions. Suicide rates show a peak among the young and the elderly.

  • Most suicides in the world occur in the South-East Asia Region (39 per 1,00,000 those in low- and middle-income countries in South-East Asia alone).

  • India accounting for the highest estimated number of suicides overall in 2012. 

  • 258,075 people committed suicide in India in 2012, with 99,977 women and 158,098 men taking their own lives. 

  • India’s suicide rate was 21.1 per 100,000 people.

  • The most suicide-prone countries were Guyana (44.2 per 100,000), followed by North and South Korea (38.5 and 28.9 respectively).

  • Sri Lanka (28.8), Lithuania (28.2), Suriname (27.8), Mozambique (27.4), Nepal and Tanzania (24.9 each), Burundi (23.1), India (21.1) and South Sudan (19.8).

  • More than 800,000 people die by suicide every year—around one person every 40 seconds, according to the report.

  • Some 75 per cent of suicides occur in low and middle-income countries.

  • Pesticide poisoning, hanging and firearms are among the most common methods of suicide globally. 

  • Suicide by intentional pesticide ingestion is of particular concern in rural agricultural areas in the South-East Asia Region.

This report, the first WHO publication of its kind, presents a comprehensive overview of suicide, suicide attempts and successful suicide prevention efforts worldwide. 


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