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Exploring the relationship between socioeconomic status and teenage pregnancy in India: a review on National Family Health Survey
Authors: Milan Das, Abhishek Anand, Papai Barman and Deepak Kumar Behera
Source: SN Social Sciences, Volume 4, issue 89; DOI:
Topic(s): Inequality
Country: Asia
Published: APR 2024
Abstract: Despite India’s remarkable economic progress, teenage pregnancy continues to pose significant public health challenges, with adverse implications for both maternal and child health outcomes. Socioeconomic inequalities play a crucial role in shaping the landscape of teenage pregnancy, given India’s diverse demographic and regional disparities in education, healthcare access, and women’s empowerment. This study aims to address a notable gap in the existing literature by assessing the extent of inequality in teenage pregnancy in India, focusing on socioeconomic determinants often overlooked in previous research. The study employed a descriptive cross-sectional design, utilizing data from the third (NFHS-3 (2005–06)) and fifth (NFHS-5 (2019–21)) rounds of the Indian National Family Health Survey (NFHS). Concentration curves and decomposition methods were employed to analyze the data, allowing for an evaluation of the degree of inequality based on various socioeconomic and demographic characteristics of the sample. The analysis revealed significant disparities in adolescent pregnancy rates, particularly evident in rural-urban divides and disparities between socio-economic strata. Factors such as wealth quintiles, educational attainment, and exposure to mass media emerged as key contributors to the widening gap between disadvantaged and affluent populations. Our findings underscore the urgent need for a comprehensive policy approach to address the dual challenge of reducing teenage pregnancies and mitigating socioeconomic inequalities. Such an approach should incorporate cultural and health-promoting components to effectively tackle the underlying determinants of teenage pregnancy and promote equitable maternal and child health outcomes in India.