Levels and Differentials in Maternal Mortality in Rural India: New Evidence from Sisterhood Data

The paper presents estimates of maternal mortality derived from the NCAER-HDI survey (1994) for rural areas of India by broad geographical regions and by some selected background characteristics of respondents. According to these estimates, maternal mortality was 544 deaths per one lakh births roughly 12 years before the survey. The maternal mortality ratio was more than 600 in eastern and north-central India, while it was between 300 and 400 in north-western and southern India. The survey data suggest that maternal mortality levels were higher among the scheduled tribes and scheduled castes and low among Muslims. The level of maternal mortality was strongly related to amenities and infrastructure available in the village. However, its relationship with poverty and educational levels of respondents was found to be weak perhaps because the characteristics of respondents were not the ideal surrogates for sisters’ attributes.

Mar 2002

Health, Poverty