UNICEF has been working in Bihar since 1982 and has one of the largest Field Offices in India. Bihar is situated in the eastern part of India with Patna as its capital. Hindi and Urdu are the official languages of the state, though the majority of people speak one of the local languages considered to be dialects of Hindi.
According to Census 2011, Bihar has a population of 104 million, making it the third most populous state in India. With a population density of 1,106 per sq km, the state is also one of the most densely populated. Almost 88.7 per cent of Bihars population resides in rural areas.
Bihar has the highest Total Fertility Rate (TFR) among all states at 3.5 in 2012, although it has declined by about 23 per cent in the past ten years from 4.4 in 2002 Sample Registration System (SRS). The TFR for India stands at 2.4. Bihar and Uttar Pradesh are the only states in India with TFR above 3. Bihar has a child population of 19.13 million in the 0-6 years age group, the second highest child population among all Indian states and accounting for 12 per cent of the total child population of India in this age group. Almost 46 per cent of Bihars population is aged less than 18 years.
The sex ratio of Bihar improved from 919 in 2001 to 933 in 2011. The sex ratio for Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) in the state was 925 and 958 respectively in 2011. Bihar is one of the poorest states in India with nearly 33.7 per cent of the population living in poverty. The agricultural sector is the mainstay of the states economy with 90 per cent of the population dependent on it, however its contribution to the states Gross State Domestic Product is only 20 per cent. Poor infrastructure is a major bottleneck in terms of development.
Challenges of equit
Challenges and Opportunities
Key indicators on children and women clearly show the disparity between different sections of the population. The Under-Five Mortality Rate (U5MR) for Bihar is 70 per 1,000 live births; for males it is 67 while for females it is 73 and while for the rural areas it is 72 for urban areas it is 51 (AHS 2012-13). The Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) of Bihar is 219 per 100,000 live births, which is higher than the national average of 178.
Undernutrition is one of key challenges in the state. The percentage of children with birthweight less than 2.5kg is 21.9 per cent (AHS 2012-13). Anaemia prevalence is highest amongst ad
UNICEF in Action
Institutionalisingquality assurance mechanism for all Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCH+A) activities at all health care facilities suchas district hospitals, sub-district hospitals and public health centres.
Supporting establishment of Special New Born Care Units (SNCUs) and Newborn Care Corners (NBCC) to improve childhood illness treatment and reduce neonatal mortality.
Facilitating operationalization of Bihar Vaccine and Logistics Online Management System (BVLMS) across the state.
Strengthening web-based real time Health Management Information System (HMIS) and Mother and Child Tracking System (MCTS).
Improving Community Based Newborn Care (CBNC) by strengthening Home Based Newborn Care (HBNC) and revitalizingIntegrated Management of Newborn and Child