Teen births down 63% since 2000: Survey
This means the progress in India alone accounts for nearly three-quarters of the global reduction in teenage births during this period.Updated: May 28, 2019 22:54 IST
Fewer teenage girls in India are becoming mothers, with teen births seeing a 63% decline since 2000, according to “Global Childhood Report 2019” released by non-profit group Save the Children on Tuesday.
The report said this reduction had resulted in at least 2 million fewer births to teenagers in India now, compared to 2000 (3.5 million vs. 1.4 million). This means the progress in India alone accounts for nearly three-quarters of the global reduction in teenage births during this period.
This is seen as a positive development as complications from pregnancy and childbirth are a leading cause of death for girls between the ages of 15 and 19 years globally, and babies born to adolescent mothers face a substantially higher risk of dying.
Globally, there is at least a 22% decline in the teenage birth rate, with 3 million fewer teen births per year now than in 2000.
According to the National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-4 conducted in 2015-16, the percentage of women [20-24 age-group], who were married before the age of 18 years was 26.8, compared to 47.4 as shown in NFHS-3 (2005-06).
The annual report by Save the Children evaluates 176 countries on children’s access to healthcare, education, nutrition and protection from “childhood enders” like child labour and child marriage. India’s score on the “End of Childhood” index is up 137 points, from 632 to 769. Child mortality is also down since 2000.
“India’s gains on its indicators will surely have a multitude of effects on the next generation to come,” says Bidisha Pillai, CEO, Save the Children.