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India is among the few countries in the world where, in 2018, the mortality for girls under 5 years of age exceeded that of boys, according to the ‘Levels and Trends in Child Mortality’ report by the United Nations (UN)
Findings of the report
The report states that in 2018, fewer countries showed gender disparities in child mortality, and across the world, boys are expected to have a higher probability of dying before reaching age 5 than girls but this trend was not reflected in India.
Mortality of girls under five in India
- According to India’s 2017 Sample Registration System, the States with the highest burden of neonatal mortality are Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, and Uttar Pradesh, with 32, 33 and 30 neonatal deaths per 1,000 live births, respectively.
- India’s neonatal mortality rate is 23 per 1,000 live births.
- The gap in the mortality of boys and girls under five years of age is the highest in Jharkhand.
- The mortality rate of girls under five years of age is the lowest in Kerala.
- The worst affected areas in India were all rural, agricultural areas with lower levels of education, high population densities, low socio-economic development and high levels of fertility.
- Most of the deaths of girls under five years of age were partly due to unwanted childbearing and subsequent neglect.