Mumbai, (Agencies): National Crime Records Bureau report for 2009has come out with startling surveys on suicides. According to the survey Health problems and their related economic issues prompt 73 suicides daily. Family problems and illnesses account for 44.7% of all suicides in the country.

The statistics revealed that men are men are killing themselves in larger numbers than women. But the housewives, who were hitherto considered non-suicidal, are ending their lives too. NCRB 2009 said that 223 Indian men killed themselves daily across the country. The corresponding figure for women was 125 daily, and 69 of these were housewives.

The crime report, which is the only document in India that provides statistics about suicides, concurs: "Social and economic causes have led most of the males to commit suicide whereas emotional and personal causes have mainly driven women to end their lives."

According to the report published in an english daily, Bangalore gives the highest suicide rate with 2,167 people killing themselves in 2009. Chennai followed with 1,412, Delhi with 1,215 and Mumbai with 1,051 suicides. Incidentally, Kolkata has the lowest suicide rate in the country.

Five states-Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh-have emerged as sensitive states for senior citizens, accounting for 54.7% suicide victims in the 60-plus age group. Maharashtra ranks third in this list, accounting for 11.2% suicides.

The southern states add up to 39.2% of total suicides in the country, with Puducherry having the highest suicide rate in the country at 47.2 suicidal deaths per one lakh population as against the national average of 10.9. Maharashtra's rate of suicide is 13.2.

Lastly, experts pointed out that suicides are increasing rapidly and it is imperative for the government to treat the issue as a public health problem like malaria or polio. "Consider how the number of suicides has increased from 1,13,914 in 2005 to 1,27,151 in 2009, and it is indicative enough," said Dr Harish Shetty.