Maternal mortality in India: What do the recent figures tell us

Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Rajasthan have seen the biggest drop in maternal mortality 

By Rajit Sengupta
Published: Monday 14 March 2022
Photo: Sonal Matharu / CSE

India’s maternal mortality ratio (MMR) has improved to 103 in 2017-19, from 113 in 2016-18. This is according to the special bulletin on MMR released by the Registrar General of India March 14, 2022.

Seven Indian states have very high maternal mortality. These are Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Odisha and Assam. 'Very high' MMR means 130 or more maternal deaths per 100,000 live births.

The MMR is ‘high’ in Punjab, Uttarakhand and West Bengal. This means 100-130 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births. It is 'low' in Haryana and Karnataka (71-100 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births).

The states of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Bihar have seen the most drop in MMR. West Bengal, Haryana, Uttarakhand and Chhattisgarh have recorded an increase in MMR over the last survey.

The MMR of Uttar Pradesh was 167 for 2017-19, compared to 201 in 2014-16, 216 in 2015-17 and 197 in 2016-18. Bihar's MMR was 130 in 2017-19, compared to 165 in 2014-16, 165 in 2015-17 and 149 in 2016-18.

Bihar’s MMR was 141 in 2017-19, compared to 199 in 2014-16, 186 in 2015-17 and 164 in 2016-18.

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