State of child health among poor and non-poor in urban India

Abhishek Kumar, Sanjay K. Mohanty



This paper examines the gaps in four child health indicators, namely, underweight, stunting, wasting, and infant mortality among the urban poor and non-poor in India, using data from the National Family Health Surveys, 1992–93 and 2005–06. Based on economic proxies, a composite wealth index is computed for urban areas using Principal Component Analysis. The urban poor, derived from the composite wealth index, are equated with the official poverty estimates of the selected state. Poor non-poor ratio, concentration index, logistic regression, and Cox Proportional Hazard regression models are used in the analyses. Results depict considerable gaps between the urban poor and non-poor for  all selected child health indicators in the country. However, regional patterns in inequalities are mixed. Controlling for other variables, poverty is found to be a significant determinant of all selected child health indicators over the periods (1992-93 and 2005-06). The study calls for specific programs to improve the health of children belonging to poor households in urban India.


Abhishek KUMAR, Research Scholar, International Institute for Population Sciences, Govandi Station Road, Deonar Mumbai, 400088, India. E.mail: K. MOHANTY, Associate Professor, Department of Fertility Studies, International Institute for Population Sciences, Mumbai, India. E-mail:



Urban poor; non-poor; Child health; Underweight; Infant death

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ISSN: 2035-5556

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