Rural-urban Differential in Utilization of Maternal Healthcare Services in India: A Decomposition Analysis

Bal Govind Chauhan, Abhishek Kumar


India has made significant progress in reducing maternal mortality ratio (MMR). However, this average achievement masks the enormous rural-urban disparity in maternal health outcome. Using the third round of the National Family Health Survey, 2005-06, this study quantifies the contribution of selected predictors explaining the average rural-urban gap in use of full antenatal care, medical assistance at delivery,and post-natal care in India. Descriptive analysis and non-linear decomposition (Fairlie’s decomposition) technique are used to quantify the contribution of factors explaining the average gap. Result shows that there is a large gap in the use of the
services between rural and urban areas with lower coverage of the services in rural areas. Economic status of the household is the largest contributor to the rural-urban gap in the use of the services followed by women’s education and exposure to media.
Current working status of mother and religion are the factors which are minimising the rural-urban gap in the use of the healthcare services.

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