Infant Mortality in Northern and Southern Regions of India: Differentials and Determinants

Kamalesh Kumar Patel, Jitendra Gouda


Using the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-3) 2005-06 data, this paper examines the differentials and determinants of IMR in northern and southern regions of India –which record two extreme levels (highest and lowest respectively). Inferential statistics,bivariate analysis and multilevel Cox proportional regression were used as the methods of analysis. The result suggests that IMR is more pronounced in the northern than southern region. This was observed across the factors taken into consideration in the study. Nevertheless, mother’s illiteracy, working status, and marrying and delivering first child at a young age were the major mother-related factors for a high IMR. Birth interval of less than two years, being of small-sized at birth, being a female child, and not breastfed at the time of survey were the main child-related factors for a high IMR. Further, poor economic condition, living in a rural area and not having access to basic civic amenities were the key household-related covariates of a high IMR. Female literacy, utilization of mother and child healthcare, and availing basic civic amenities at household level is essential to bring reduction in the IMR - without which achieving the recently crafted SDG 3 will be difficult for India.

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