Key data

Collection and analysis of disaggregated data for evaluating evolving risks and opportunities for children is key to all UNICEF programming.

Children show Measles Rubella vaccination cards at Naharlagun, in IndiaÕs north-eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh on February 24, 2018.

  • Every day 67,385 babies are born in India, that’s one sixth of the world’s child births. Every minute one of these newborns dies. 
  • India is the only large country in the world where more girl babies die than boy babies. The gender differential in child survival is currently 11 per cent. 
  • Statistics reflect community attitudes with fewer hospital admissions for girls than boys, showing that parents sometimes give less attention to girl newborns. In 2017 alone 150,000 fewer girls were admitted to SNCUs than boys. 
  • Under-five mortality for girls in India remains 8.3 per cent higher than for boys. Globally this is 14 per (Source: UNIGME child survival Report 2019) cent higher for boys.
  • Maternal Mortality Ratio of India has declined by 8 points from 130/ 100,000 live births in 2014-16 to 122/ 100,000 live births in 2015-17 (6.2 per cent decline) 
  • Globally the number of women and girls who die each year due to issues related to pregnancy and childbirth has dropped considerably, from 451,000 in 2000 to 295,000 in 2017, a 38 per cent decrease.
  • In India the number of women and girls who die each year due to issues related to pregnancy and childbirth has dropped considerably, from 103,000 in 2000 to 35000 in 2017, a 55 per cent decrease.
  • With the birth of 25 million children each year India accounts for nearly one fifth of the world’s annual child births. Every minute one of those babies dies.
  • Nearly 46 per cent of all maternal deaths and 40 per cent of neonatal deaths happen during labour or the first 24 hours after birth. Pre-maturity (35 per cent), neonatal infections (33 per cent), birth asphyxia (20 per cent) and congenital malformations (9 per cent) are among the major causes of new-born deaths.


Child protection

  • 94.6 per cent of offenders in rape cases were known to their victims
  • 83 per cent of ever married women age 15-49 who have ever experienced physical and sexual violence report their current husband as perpetrators
  • 34 per cent of all women aged 15-49 have experienced violence at home since the age of 15
  • One in every eight children, aged 5-14 years, work for their own household or someone else
  •  31 per cent of ever married women aged 15-49 have experienced physical, sexual or emotional spousal violence
  • 52 per cent of women and 42 per cent of men believe that a husband is justified in beating his wife 

Source: NFHS 3 and 4, NCRB 2016


  • Out of 100 students, 29 per cent of girls and boys drop out of school before completing the full cycle of elementary education, and often they are the most marginalized children. 

  • The Government of India’s Right to Education Act has been instrumental in the reduction of the number of Out of School Children (OOSC) aged 6 to 14 years, from 13.46 million in 2006 to six million in 2014 (Source: RI-IMRB Surveys, 2009 and 2014).

  • Out of the six million children that are still out of school a majority are from marginalised communities including Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and religious minority groups.

  • The majority (75 per cent) of the OOSC are concentrated in six states of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal.

  • Some 29 per cent of girls and boys drop out of school before completing the full cycle of elementary education. The numbers become contentious and alarming when one includes post elementary and high school

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)

  • Sustain ODF status in 192 UNICEF supported districts
  • UNICEF aims to contribute increasing the proportion of the rural population using a safely managed drinking water service: from 49 per cent to 69 per cent
  • UNICEF aims to increase in the proportion of schools with adequate and functional gender sensitive WASH facilities in supported districts: from 48 per cent to 75 per cent
  • UNICEF aims to increase of the proportion of anganwadis with adequate and functional WASH facilities from 42 per cent to 60 per cent
  • UNICEF aims to increase the proportion of rural households with hand washing facility with soap available at home: from 34 per cent to 68 per cent

Social policy and inclusion

  • Extreme poverty (US$1.90 a day) has reduced to 21 per cent in India. Yet 58 per cent of the population is still poor, living on US$3.10 a day
  • The share of population living in an urban setting was 55.3 per cent in 2010 with many informal settlements having little or no access to basic services
  • Seven low-income states share the burden of 62 per cent of the total poor in the country
  • Budget share for children in the Union Budget declined from 4.8 per cent to 3.3 per cent between 2012-2013 and 2016-2017
  • Child protection (0.04 per cent) and child health (0.58 per cent) received the lowest priority in the 2013-14 Union Budget

Adolescent development and participation

  • Nearly 72 per cent of adolescents in India live in rural areas
  • Some 11.9 per cent girls in the 15-19 age group were married before 18
  • Some 42 per cent of adolescent girls aged 15-19 years are undernourished (BMI <18.5 kg/m2)
  • Nearly 54 per cent of adolescent girls and 29 per cent of boys aged 15-19 years are anaemic
  • At least 7.9 per cent of women aged 15-19 years have started childbearing
  • (Source: Census 2011, NHFS 3 and 4)

Gender equality

  • Sex ratio at birth decreased from 905 in 2001 to 899 girls born per 1,000 boys in 2011 (normal is 40-960 girls per 1,000 boys).2  
  • Under-five mortality rate for girls in India is 11 per cent higher for girls whereas globally, the under-five mortality rate is 9 per cent higher for boys, reflecting a 20 per cent abnormality in the under-five mortality rate for girls.3
  • Some 56 per cent of 15 to 19-year-old girls are anaemic compared to 30 per cent of boys.4  
  • Around 27 per cent of 20 to 24-year-old women were married before they turned18.5 
  • Only 12.7 per cent of land holdings are in the names of women, while 77 per cent women rely on agriculture as their primary source of income.6  
  • Some 39 per cent of men, women think that it is sometimes or always justifiable for a man to beat his wife.7