Are urban poor doing better than their rural counterpart in India? A study of fertility, family planning and health

Aparajita Chattopadhyay, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)
Tarun K. Roy, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)
Vaidehi Yelamanchili, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)

Rural India is the country that shelters the highest number of poor. As a consequence, urban poor are being neglected for decades. This paper tries to throw light on the demographic aspects, health and utilization of health facilities of the poor residing in large cities, medium towns and countryside, using National Family Health Survey II (1998-99). Results indicate that though economically urban population is better off compared to their rural counterparts, wider gap exists between the rich and the poor of large cities with regards the indices of fertility and mortality. Child and under-five mortality are the highest among the poor of the large cities. Maharashtra reveals a grim picture of the poor of Mumbai in terms of anaemia level, body mass or contraceptive use. To bring a qualitative improvement in the life of this underprivileged section, medium size towns are the best set for developmental planning.

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Presented in Session 5: Urbanization, health and poverty