India's infant mortality rate is down

44 infant deaths per 1,000 live births is still higher than the 11th Plan target of reducing it to 30

By Vibha Varshney
Published: Friday 26 October 2012

India's infant mortality rate (IMR) has dropped from 47 infant deaths per 1,000 live births to 44 during 2011. Data from the October 2012 bulletin of the Sample Registration System (SRS), released by the Registrar General of India, shows that IMR for rural areas has dropped to 48 from 51 while in the urban areas it has fallen to 29 from 31.

The IMR is still higher than the target set under the 11th Five Year Plan. This plan hoped to achieve an IMR of 30 per 1,000 live births by 2012. Under the 12th Plan, the country hopes to further reduce the mortality rate to 25 by 2017. The UN Millennium Development Goal for IMR has been set at 27, to be achieved by 2015. It has been observed that in India, there is a decline in IMR by two points every year. Using this, it is projected to have an IMR of 38 by 2015 and 34 by 2017.

Laggard states

Some states have already met this goal, according to the latest SRS data. Goa and Manipur have the lowest IMR of 11, followed by Kerala with 12. States like Madhya Pradesh with an IMR of 59 and Uttar Pradesh and Odisha with an IMR of 57 would find it difficult to meet this target. Assam, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Meghalaya also have IMR more than the national average of 44 as of now and would not meet the target either.

SRS is the only national data that provides estimates of birth rate, death rate and other fertility and mortality indicators, annually since 1964. The present sample consists of 1.5 million rural and urban households, spread across all states and Union Territories.





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