Over 13,000 students died by suicide last year: NCRB Report 2021

Student suicides have risen 27% over five years, NCRB data shows. In 2021, over 1,600 suicides had “failure in examination” as reason.

Sanjay 30th Aug, 2022 - 3:13 p.m. IST
Out of the 13,089 students who died by suicide last year, 7,396 were male and 5,693 were female. (Representative Image)

NEW DELHI: Over 13,000 students took their own lives in India last year, the latest statistics from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB report 2021) shows. In fact, over the five years from 2016 to 2021, the number of student suicides in India has risen by 27%.

The country recorded 9,478 student suicides in 2016 which increased to 10,335 in 2019 and 13,089 in 2021 when it was 8% of all suicide cases. The total number of suicide cases rose by 20% over the same period, from 1,31,008 in 2016 to 1,64,033 in 2021.

The NCRB report titled Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India 2021, released on Monday, shows that most student suicides were reported from Maharashtra and that for over 1,500 suicides among youths under 30 years, the reason was “failure in examination”.

The reports over the years show that the number of suicides rose most sharply, by 7.17% , from 2020 to 2021, when it increased from 1,53,052 to 1,64,033. Over the the same period, student suicides witnessed an increase of 4%, from 12,526 to 13,089.

NCRB: Student suicides, states

The NCRB has categorised suicide data under nine profession-wise groups – students, professional or salaried persons, daily wage earner, retired persons, unemployed persons, self-employed persons, house wife, persons engaged in farming sector and other persons. The maximum number of suicide cases in 2021 were recorded among the daily wage earners, 42,004 or 25.6% of the total.

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Out of the 13,089 students who died by suicide last year, 7,396 were male and 5,693 were female. Of the students who killed themselves, 14.0% were in Maharashtra (1,834) followed by 10.0% in Madhya Pradesh (1,308), 9.5% in Tamil Nadu (1,246) and 6.5% in Karnataka (855), shows the NCRB report 2021 state wise data.

Student suicide numbers


Student suicides

Percentage of total



















Students suicide reasons and prevention

The latest NCRB report shows that a total of 1,673 persons died by suicide due to “ failure in examination ” in 2021 amounting to 1% of that total number of suicides. In fact, “failure in examination” is the reason behind over 1,500 suicides among young people below the age of 30 years albeit not all of them may have been students. Given below is the distribution by age.

‘Failure in examination’ as reason

Age bracket

Number of suicides

Below 18








Above 60


In a written reply to Parliament on April 4, 2022, education minister Dharmendra Pradhan said that Central Universities under the purview of education ministry have reported 24 suicide cases of students from 2017 to 2022. He said that information is provided by higher education regulator University Grants Commission (UGC). “The reasons of suicide by students are not maintained,” he said.

Commenting upon the steps being taken by the central government to prevent suicides by students , Pradhan listed various steps including peer assisted learning, introduction of technical education in regional languages for students in order to ease the academic stress.

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The NCRB report notes: “Each suicide is a personal tragedy that prematurely takes the life of an individual and has a continuing ripple effect, affecting the lives of families, friends and communities.”

If you, or anyone you know, needs help, AASRA has a list of resources here: http://www.aasra.info/helpline.html

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