Indians record highest number of suicides among expatriates

Indians are the largest foreign community in Kuwait, they are also apparently the leaders when it comes to suicides among expatriates in the country. According to official statistics, over the decade spanning from 2007 to 2017, a total of 394 Indians — 331 men and 63 women — took their own lives.

With a suicide rate that averages 40 deaths a year, the number of people taking their own lives was far higher than the number of Indians dying of natural causes in Kuwait. The year 2016 witnessed the highest number of Indian suicides — 47 Indian expats decided to end their lives that year in Kuwait. Among Indians, the largest number taking their own lives were from the Indian state of Kerala, with people from the state accounting for a third of all suicide cases,

Analysts have come up with a number of reasons for the high rate of suicides among Indians, including psychological stresses and financial troubles. But it also bears remembering that Indians form the largest community in Kuwait by far, and people from the state of Kerala form the bulk of Indian expats in Kuwait.

Incidentally, the suicide rate of Indian expats in Kuwait is far lower than that prevailing among Indians living in India. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) the age standardized suicide rate in India is 25.8 per 100,000 for men (22nd highest in the world) and16.4 per 100,000 for women (6th in the world).

Extrapolating from the WHO data, the expected suicide rate among the 900,000 Indian expats should have been a whooping 380 deaths annually, instead of the 40 Indians that take their lives each year in Kuwait. Perhaps the question that analysts and others should be asking is, why are Indians so prone to committing suicide.