India records 22 per cent reduction in Maternal Mortality Ratio

Jun 7, 2018 11:45 IST
India records 22 per cent reduction in Maternal Mortality Ratio

India recorded 22 per cent reduction in Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) since 2013, as per the Sample Registration System (SRS) bulletin that was released by the Office of the Registrar General of India on June 6, 2018.

According to the bulletin, the Maternal Mortality Ratio in India declined from 167 in 2011-2013 to 130 in 2014-2016. The MMR is defined as the proportion of maternal deaths per 1, 00,000 live births.

 India records 22 per cent reduction in Maternal Mortality Ratio

Key Facts

The decline in the ratio was most significant in Empowered Action Group (EAG) states from 246 to 188.

Among the southern states, the decline was from 93 to 77 and in other states from 115 to 93.

Kerala topped the list with 46 MMR, followed by Maharashtra with 61 and Tamil Nadu with 66.

The highest maternal death ratio was recorded by Assam at 237, though the number is down from 300 in 2011-13.

UP and Uttarakhand registered the second-highest MMR at 201, down from 285 in the last three years.

Besides, three states including Kerala, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu were able to meet the SDG target for MMR of 70 per 1, 00,000. Two other states, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, are not very far behind.

According to SRS Bulletin, there were nearly 12,000 fewer maternal deaths in 2016 as compared to 2013, with the total number of maternal deaths reducing to 32,000 for the first time.

The figures mean that every day 30 more pregnant women are being saved in India as compared to 2013.

 India records 22 per cent reduction in Maternal Mortality Ratio

To understand the maternal mortality situation in the country better and to map the changes that have taken place, especially at the regional level, the government has categorised the states into three groups:

EAG states: The EAG states include Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Assam and Uttar Pradesh.

Southern states: The southern states include Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

Other states: The category covers the remaining states and Union territories.

About Sample Registration System

  • The Office of the Registrar General, India under the Ministry of Home Affairs, has been giving estimates on fertility and mortality using the Sample Registration System (SRS).
  • SRS is the largest demographic sample survey in the country that provides direct estimates of maternal mortality through a nationally representative sample.
  • The First Report on maternal mortality in India (1997-2003) – Trends, Causes and Risk Factors was released in October, 2006.
  • The present Bulletin, which provides only the levels of maternal mortality for the period 2014-16, is being brought out as a sequel to the previous Bulletin (2011-13).
  • With this, the maternal mortality data from SRS is available for a period of 20 years.


Reduction of mortality of women is an area of concern for the Governments across the globe.

The International Conference on Population and Development in 1994 had recommended reduction in maternal mortality by at least 50 percent of the 1990 levels by the year 2000 and further one half by the year 2015.

The survey for the current bulletin covered 62,96,101 pregnant women, of whom 556 died.

Fact Check

 India records 22 per cent reduction in Maternal Mortality Ratio

What is MMR?

The Maternal mortality ratio is derived as the proportion of maternal deaths per 100,000 live births. It represents the risk associated with each pregnancy.

What is Maternal Death?

A maternal death is the death of a woman during pregnancy or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy.

Cause of Maternal Death

Maternal deaths can stem from any cause related or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management.

However, it does not include deaths from accidental or incidental causes.  

Why is MMR significant?

The MMR is a key performance indicator for efforts to improve the health and safety of mothers before, during and after childbirth per country worldwide.


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