a1 International Institute for Population Sciences, Mumbai, India
a2 Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, National Institute of Technology, Orissa, India
As India rapidly urbanizes, within urban areas socioeconomic disparities are rising and health inequality among urban children is an emerging challenge. This paper assesses the relative contribution of socioeconomic factors to child health inequalities between the less developed Empowered Action Group (EAG) states and more developed South Indian states in urban India using data from the 2005–06 National Family Health Survey. Focusing on urban health from varying regional and developmental contexts, socioeconomic inequalities in child health are examined first using Concentration Indices (CIs) and then the contributions of socioeconomic factors to the CIs of health variables are derived. The results reveal, in order of importance, pronounced contributions of household economic status, parent's illiteracy and caste to urban child health inequalities in the South Indian states. In contrast, parent's illiteracy, poor economic status, being Muslim and child birth order 3 or more are major contributors to health inequalities among urban children in the EAG states. The results suggest the need to adopt different health policy interventions in accordance with the pattern of varying contributions of socioeconomic factors to child health inequalities between the more developed South Indian states and less developed EAG states.
(Online publication May 29 2012)