Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Home Affairs
07-July-2011 16:38 IST
Estimates of Maternal Mortality, Child Mortality and Total Fertility Rates

Improving maternal health by reducing the Maternal Mortality Ratio by three quarters between 1990 and 2015 is one of the Millennium Development Goals (Goal 5) of the United Nations. The target for India is to achieve the Maternal Mortality Ratio of 109 by 2015. The progress of India on this front is vital for the overall reduction in the world as every fifth woman dying due to maternal causes is an Indian.

2. In India, Sample Registration System (SRS) is the only source for providing direct estimates on maternal mortality for the country and major States, and these estimates are being provided since 1997. The data on maternal mortality is generated using the tools of verbal autopsy which is implemented on all the deaths reported under SRS. In order to generate robust estimates, the Maternal Mortality estimates are generated by pooling three years’ data.

3. The estimate for the years 2007-09 were released today in the form of a special bulletin on maternal mortality in India. The Maternal Mortality Ratio of India has declined from 254 in 2004-06 to 212 in 2007-09, a fall of 17 percent. This decline assumes significance in view of the fact that the decline in 2004-06 over 2001-03 was also to the tune of 16 percent. The decline has been most significant in Empowered Action Group of States and Assam from 375 to 308, a fall of 18 percent. Among the Southern States, the decline has been from 149 to 127 (15 percent) and in the other States from 174 to 149 (14 percent). It is worth noting that the number of States that have acheived MDG target in 2007-09 has gone up to 3 against 1 in 2004-06. Kerala was the sole State with the distinction in 2004-06. Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra are the new entrants. Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Gujarat and Haryana are in closer proximity to the MDG target.

4. Along with the MMR Bulletin, the Annual Statistical Report on SRS for the year 2009 was also released. Among various indicators contained in the Report, the most important ones are Infant Mortality Rate (IMR), Under 5 Mortality Rate (U5MR) and Total Fertility Rate (TFR). These indicators are released every year. IMR and U5MR are the measures designated to track the progress of MDG 4(on reducing Child Mortality). MDG envisages reduction of IMR to 28 and U5MR to 42 by the year 2015. IMR for the country has registered a decline of 3 points to 50 in 2009 from 53 in 2008. The maximum IMR has been reported in case of Madhya Pradesh (67) and the minimum for Kerala (12). Neo-Natal Mortality Rate (<29 days) and Post Neo-Natal Mortality Rate (1 month to 11 months) has declined by 1 point and 2 points respectively. Kerala (12) and Tamil Nadu (28) have already achieved the MDG target. Delhi (33), Maharashtra (31) and West Bengal (33) are in closer proximity.

5. U5MR for the country has declined by 5 points over 2008 (64 in 2009 against 69 in 2008). A uniform decline of about 5 points is seen in male and female U5MRs. The Maximum U5MR has been reported in Madhya Pradesh (89) and the minimum U5MR in Kerala (14). As of now, five States/UTs viz. Kerala (14), Tamil Nadu (33), Maharashtra (36), Delhi (37) and West Bengal (40) have achieved the MDG target.

6. The Total Fertility Rate (TFR) measures the average number of children that would be born to a woman over her lifetime at the current age-specific fertility rates. TFR for the country remained stationery at 2.6 during 2008 to 2009 after showing a decline during last few years. Bihar has reported the highest TFR (3.9) while Kerala and Tamil Nadu, the lowest (1.7). Replacement level TFR, viz 2.1, has been attained by 9 States/UTs viz. Andhra Pradesh (1.9), Delhi (1.9), Himachal Pradesh (1.9), Karnataka (2.0), Kerala (1.7), Maharashtra (1.9), Punjab (1.9), Tamil Nadu (1,7) and West Bengal (1.9). At present, a rural woman (having a TFR of 2.9) at the National level would have about one child more than an urban woman (having a TFR of 2.0), on average.