Journal of Urban Health

, Volume 88, Issue 2, pp 311–328 | Cite as

Intra-urban Differentials in the Utilization of Reproductive Healthcare in India, 1992–2006

  • Abhishek KumarEmail author
  • Sanjay K. Mohanty


This paper examines trends in three reproductive healthcare indicators— namely, antenatal care, medical assistance at delivery, and contraceptive use among the urban poor and non-poor in India using data from the National Family Health Surveys, 1992–1993 and 2005–2006. The urban poor and non-poor are derived from composite wealth indices based on a set of economic proxies. Results indicate that the estimates of poor and non-poor are reliable. During the last 14 years, the service coverage in all three indicators has increased in the country, among both the urban poor and non-poor. However, the utilization of reproductive health services is concentrated among the urban non-poor cutting across the states, with the exception of Kerala. While the non-poor/poor gap in antenatal care and medical assistance at delivery remained large over the years, the gap in contraceptive use has narrowed down cutting across states. After adjusting for other confounders, household poverty was found to be a significant barrier in the utilization of reproductive healthcare services across the states. It has been observed that the utilization of reproductive healthcare services followed a continuum of rural total, urban poor, and urban non-poor.


Urbanization Poverty Urban poor Antenatal care Medical assistance at delivery Contraceptive use Concentration index India Asia 



An earlier version of this paper was presented at the annual meeting of the Population Association of America (PAA) at Dallas, Texas, USA, April 15–17, 2010. We are thankful to Dr. Ann K. Blanc, Director of the Maternal Health Task Force, New York, USA and Dr. Anrudh Jain and Saumya RamaRao, Population Council, New York, USA for their valuable comments and suggestion on the previous draft of the paper.


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Copyright information

© The New York Academy of Medicine 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Institute for Population SciencesDeonarIndia
  2. 2.Department of Fertility StudiesInternational Institute for Population SciencesDeonarIndia

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