Asia & the Pacific Policy Studies

Explaining the role of parental education in the regional variations in infant mortality in India

By Pradeep Kumar Choudhury

Using data from the National Family Health Survey (2005–06), this study examines the effect of parental education and the related factors (mother’s exposure to mass media and her socio-economic empowerment) in the regional variations in infant mortality in India. The study finds that parental education is significantly associated with reducing infant mortality to a varying degree at the regional level. It is also evident that children born to mothers having any kind of exposure to the mass media are less likely to die during infancy compared with children born to mothers having no mass media exposure. More importantly, parental education works better in regions that are socio-economically underdeveloped. The findings of the study place emphasis on imparting education to mothers along with mass media exposure and higher level of socio-economic empowerment to reduce infant deaths in India and also to minimise its glaring regional variations.


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