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| Last Updated:20/08/2014

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Muslim mortality paradox and the importance of sanitation for children

Livemint, 18 August 2014

 

In India, Hindu children face substantially higher mortality rates than Muslim children, despite being relatively richer on average. Here’s why

 

In India, Muslim children are substantially more likely than Hindu children to survive until their fifth birthday, despite Muslim parents being poorer and less educated on average than Hindu parents. The phenomenon has been documented by numerous researchers over the past 20 years, including most recently by Bhalotra et al. (2010).

 

This pattern of Muslim child survival advantage is hard to reconcile with the well-developed body of work (summarised in Geruso 2012) on the importance of income and education in predicting health and mortality. In the context of India, these would predict a mortality disadvantage for Muslims. Nonetheless, by age five, mortality among Muslims is about 18% lower than among Hindus, with an additional 1.7 children per 100 surviving to age five. Read more....