Community Well-Being and Infant Mortality in a Demographically Backward State in India
Barsharani Maharana, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)
Infant mortality in Madhya Pradesh, a demographically backward state in India has started showing sign of decline as evident from National Family Health Survey-3 (2005-06) after a period of long spell of persistently high infant mortality rate. This paper tests two main hypothesis: one pertaining to overall community well-being and the other relating to inequality in well-being in the community. Decomposition analysis reveals that inequality in community well-being contributes significantly over time in the decline in infant mortality in Madhya Pradesh, while the overall community well-being, although has inverse association with infant mortality, it’s significance seems to be receding over time. Favorable influence of community well-being on enhancing survival of infant-hood is being explained by the fact that households which are part of better-off communities benefits in terms of knowledge and practice of newborn care.