1.87 lakh children below the age of one year died in 2013

Around 1.87 lakh children below the age of one year died in 2013 with Maharashtra and West Bengal topping the list, a latest government report has said.

Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Odisha also find their space among top-five states where the largest number of deaths of people took place, according to ‘Annual Report on Vital Statistics of India based on Civil Registration System-2013’ released recently.

Of 1.87 lakh deaths, 80,609 are girls or 42.94 per cent are girls. Across age groups, India witnessed 60.86 lakh deaths in 2013.

The figures based on the registration of deaths with authorities showed that Maharashtra had at least 22,159 children below the age of one year succumbing to death followed by West Bengal, which had 18,992.

Uttar Pradesh had 18,760 such deaths while Karnataka came fourth with 15,221 followed by Odisha with 15,076.

Officials said the statistics is based only on the registration of deaths in states and it may not be the accurate picture on the issue. “This numbers are close to reality as we have achieved a rise in registrations of births and deaths. It is about 85 per cent for the country,” they said. The report also has not mentioned the reason for deaths.

According to the report, the share of infant deaths rural area is 33.1 per cent while it is 66.9 per cent in urban areas.

“Non registration of infant deaths in rural area is a cause of concern which may be due to non-reporting of infant deaths to the registrars especially domiciliary events,” the report said. Also, this figure is exclusive of returns of Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand because the information on registered infant deaths has not been received from these states.

Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka also top the list in deaths of children aged between one and four years. While MP had 10,714 such deaths, Karnataka had 7,357 followed by West Bengal at 7,191.

In the 5-14 age group, Telangana has the highest number of deaths at 18,312 followed by Madhya Pradesh (12,163) and Karnataka (10,050). Telangana again had the highest figures in 25-34 years age group with 52,829 while Madhya Pradesh is a distant second at 26,407.

Death of children below one year

Total registered deaths

Total infant deaths registered

Maharashtra

6.68 lakh

22,159

West Bengal

4.70 lakh

18,992

Uttar Pradesh

7.80 lakh

18,760

Karnataka

4.13 lakh

15,221

Odisha

2.87 lakh

15,076

(An edited version appeared in Deccan Herald on Oct 25, 2015)

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