Infant Mortality + Replacement Rate in Fertility Rate

In this article, you can read a brief about the terms infant mortality rate and replacement rate in fertility rate for the UPSC exam general science segment.

Infant Mortality Rate

  • Infant Mortality Rate or IMR is the number of deaths of children under 1 year of age per one thousand live births.
  • This rate for a region is calculated by dividing the number of deaths of children less than 1 year old by the number of live births in a year times 1000.
  • The major causes of congenital infant mortality are sudden infant death syndrome, malformations, accidents, maternal complications during the pregnancy and unintentional injuries.
  • Contributing causes are social and environmental obstacles that prevent availability of basic medical resources. 99% of deaths of infants take place in developing nations. Among these, 86% are caused due to premature births, infections, delivery complications, birth injuries and perinatalasphyxia.

Infant Mortality Rate in India

  • As per the latest data, in 2016, the IMR is 34. That means, there are 34 deaths per thousand live births.

Replacement Rate

  • Replacement Rate is the total fertility rate at which women give birth to enough infants in order to maintain the population levels.
  • In case of no female mortality till the culmination of childbearing age (44/45/49), the replacement level of the TFR would be quite near 2.
  • India is expected to reach replacement levels of fertility by 2020 as the fertility rates are falling faster than expected.
  • A survey conducted by the office of the Registrar General of India in 2013 showed that the average number of children that will be born to a woman during her lifetime (that is the Total Fertility Rate) in eight States has fallen below two children per woman.
  • Only nine states had not reached replacement levels. All of them are in Eastern and Southern India and Gujarat. They have not reached the replacement levels of 2.1 below which the population will begin to decline.
  • Current fertility rate for the whole country is 2.33. At this level, we are just  0.2 points away from reaching replacement levels.

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