Nagaland records higher suicides in 2022; most among unemployed

Rate of Suicides in States/UTs during 2022as per 'Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India 2022’ by the National Crimes Records Bureau.

Rate of Suicides in States/UTs during 2022as per 'Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India 2022’ by the National Crimes Records Bureau.

Moa Jamir
Dimapur | December 9

While Nagaland continues to have one of the lowest suicide rates in India, the State saw a concerning 14% year-on-year increase in suicide cases in 2022, according to the latest National Crimes Records Bureau (NCRB) report. 

According to the 'Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India 2022’ report compiled by the NCRB, the number of suicides in Nagaland increased from 43 cases in 2021 to 49 in 2022. 

Despite this increase, Nagaland remains the state with the second lowest number of suicide cases, after Manipur. If Union Territories (UTs) are included, it falls to fourth place. In 2022, Manipur recorded 26 suicide cases, while the UTs of Lakshadweep and Ladakh registered 2 and 13 cases, respectively. 

However, Nagaland was among nine states/UTs that reported a higher percentage increase in suicides in 2022 over 2021, along with Lakshadweep (100.0%), Mizoram (54.5%), Uttar Pradesh (37.8%), Jammu & Kashmir UT (30.8%), Delhi UT (20.3%), D&N Haveli and Daman & Diu (19.9%), Jharkhand (19.5%), and Ladakh (18.2%).

State/UT – Wise Total Number Of Suicides During 2022 as per 'Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India 2022’ by the National Crimes Records Bureau. 

Meanwhile, with a mid-year projected population of 22.2 lakh, Nagaland exhibited the third-lowest ‘suicide rate’ in India, with 2.2 suicides per one lakh population. The report indicated that Bihar and Manipur had the lowest suicide rates among the states and union territories in India, standing at 0.6 and 0.8, respectively.

Across India, there was a 4.2% increase in suicides during 2022, with 1,70,924 suicides compared to 1,64,033 in 2021. The suicide rate in India increased from 12.00 in 2021 to 12.4 in 2022.

In terms of cases, Maharashtra reported the highest number of suicides at 22,746, followed by Tamil Nadu (19,834), Madhya Pradesh (15,386), Karnataka (13,606), and West Bengal (12,669). These five states together accounted for 49.3% of the total suicides reported in the country.

However, the rate of suicides was highest in Sikkim at 43.1 per lakh population, followed by Andaman & Nicobar Islands (42.8), Puducherry (29.7), Kerala (28.5), and Chhattisgarh (28.2).

Key Drivers
In Nagaland, while the official “causes-wise” list indicates that the majority of cases (21 out of 49) are classified as “Causes Not Known,” a closer look reveals a potential link to economic hardship.

For instance, out of the total, 29 cases were in the category with an economic status of 'less than Rs 1 lakh' annually, while 12 were in the Rs 1 lakh to 5 lakh income group. Thus, 83.67% of cases were in an income group of less than 5 lakh.

In terms of the profession-wise categorisation of suicide cases, 14 out of 49 were 'unemployed persons,' 13 were designated as 'Self-employed Persons,' and 4 were daily wage earners. 

These categories account for 63.27% of all suicide cases in the state, suggesting a potential link between economic instability and suicidal ideation.

Relationship issues also played a significant role, with 16 cases (32.65% of the total) attributed to various factors such as family problems (8), marriage-related issues (4), and love affairs (3) and ‘Suspected/Illicit Relation (1).’

In terms of educational status, most victims were educated suicide victims were up to middle level (up to class–8) with 20 persons (40.48%). There were 8 in Hr Secondary/Intermediate/Pre-University (up to class–12 Pre-University (up to class–12) and 7 in Matriculate/Secondary (up to class–10) category.

Across India, the leading causes of suicide include family problems (31.7%), illness (18.4%), drug abuse/alcohol addiction (6.8%), marriage-related problems (4.8%), and love affairs (4.5%). “Causes Not Known” and “Other Causes” account for 10.4% and 10.7% of cases respectively.

Nationally, males are more prone to suicide, with 122,724 out of 170,924 cases being reported among them. In comparison, 48,172 female victims and 28 transgender victims were recorded. Nagaland follows this trend, with 39 male victims and 10 female victims reported in 2022.

The information published in the report has been obtained from states/UTs Police, the report added. 

Seeking Help

•    Among others, at national level, Tele-MANAS is a comprehensive mental health care service and aims to provide free tele-mental health services all over the country round the clock. One can dial the Toll free numbers – 14416 and 1-800 891 4416get in touch with our Counsellor. (
•    In Nagaland,  District Mental Health Programme (DMHP) operates as a part of the National Mental Health Programme, under the Directorate of Health & Family Welfare (DoHFW), catering to the needs of the people particularly with mental disorder/illness.
The Mental Hospital Kohima has also been renamed State Mental Health Institute Kohima (SMHIK) to help remove the stigma attached to the word Mental Hospital and render to the needs in greater and better ways. 
The DMHP programme includes one State Level SPO under DoHFW and 1 Psychiatrist or Trained MO as Nodal Officer at District level.

Districts helpline are: 
    Dimapur (District Hospital Dimapur) -9774780330
    Mokokchung(IMDH) - 8119074577
    Kohima (NHAK) - 9402079798
    Phek (District Hospital Phek) -6009541233
    Longleng (District Hospital Longleng) – 6009109696
    Besides other government and non- government agencies, including Sakhi One-Stop Centre, offer assistance.