Spike in death rate in Kerala; highest infant mortality rate in urban areas

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Thiruvananthapuram: A majority of the population in Kerala comprises youngsters, and the numbers are rising, according to official data.

As per official estimates, over 62 percent of the Keralites are aged below 40 (see the chart below). The ratio, however, still remains below the national average. As per the 2011 census, as many as 74 percent of people across the country were aged below 40.

While Kerala witnessed 4.46 lakh births in 2020, it came down to 4.19 lakh the next year. At the same time, the number of deaths rose from 2.50 lakh to 3.39 lakh during the same period. Of the total deaths reported in 2021, 54.76% were men and 45.24% were women. At 12.96%, Pathanamthitta topped the ratio of deaths, while Malappuram had the least number of deaths at 6.2%.

The fertility ratio of women declined from 1.56 to 1.46. The fertility ratio for the country, meanwhile, stood at 2.05%. Of the total births in 2021, 54.21% were normal deliveries, while 42.67% were caesarean or C-section deliveries. The majority of the women who gave birth during this period were aged between 25 and 29. Of the total number of babies, 36.35% belonged to mothers in this age group.

The infant mortality rate has come down from 5.13% to 5.05%. Ironically, the highest number of infant deaths were reported in urban areas, which boast relatively better health infrastructure. Of the 2,121 infants who died in 2021, 1,307 belonged to urban locations, while 814 were from rural villages.

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