Indians' life expectancy increased by 5 yrs: Govt

In keeping with the trend that has continued for six decades, average life expectancy of Indians has increased by five years in the past decade, according to government data.

The average life expectancy that stood at 62.3 years for male and 63.9 years for female between 2001 and 2005 touched 67.3 years for male and 69.6 years for female between 2011 and 2015, union health ministry said in a statement on Monday.

During independence, life expectancy at birth was about 31 years, which crawled up to 41.54 in 1960 and 52.24 in 1975. It was 64.31 years in 2004 when the UPA government came to power. Infant Mortality Rate has come down to 42 in 2012 from 58 per 1000 live births in the year 2005. Maternal Mortality Ratio too has declined from 301 per 100,000 live births in 2001-03 to 212 in 2007-09 and 178 in 2010-12.

However, both are still far from a UN target to which India voluntarily acceded to at the turn of the new millennium. Babies born to poor mothers in India die twice more than those born to rich mothers. If all newborns in India experienced the same survival rates as newborns from the richest 20 percent of Indian families, nearly 360,000 more babies would survive each year.

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