GUWAHATI, Sept 18 - Even as the total fertility rate in Assam has fallen a bit during the past decade, almost a third of women in the State still get married before the age of 18 years.
As per findings of the recent National Family Health Survey 4 (2015-16), the total fertility rate (children per woman) stood at 2.2.
While the fertility rate was 1.5 in urban areas, it was 2.3 in rural areas of Assam.
There has been a slight decline in the numbers since the third round of NFHS in 2005-06 when the fertility rate was 2.4 in the State.
NFHS-4 also found that 37 per cent of currently married women in the age group of 15-49 years in Assam use modern methods of family planning. This is a good improvement from 2005-06, when the figure was only 27 per cent.
Pill use among women has also gone up from 10.3 per cent in 2005-06 to 22 per cent in 2015-16, the survey said.
However, as per NFHS-4, as many as 32.6 per cent women of Assam in the age group of 20-24 years had got married before reaching of age of 18 years.
In urban areas of the State, the proportion of such women was 23.9 per cent and in rural areas it was 33.9 per cent.
The previous survey, NFHS-3, had found that 38 per cent of women in Assam were in that category in 2005-06.
One area of marked improvement during the last decade has been with regard to delivery care.
The survey findings state that institutional births (for births in the five years before the survey) in the State stood at 70.6 per cent in 2015-16. It was 92.9 per cent in urban Assam and 68.2 per cent in the rural areas.
The overall numbers for the State was only 22.4 per cent in 2005-06.
There has also been progress with regard to immunisation.
Overall, 47.1 per cent of children in the age group of 12-23 months were fully immunised with BCG, measles and three doses each of polio and DPT vaccines in 2015-16 as compared to 31.4 per cent in 2005-06.
The National Family Health Survey 2015-16 is the fourth in the NFHS series and it provides information on population, health and nutrition.
As in the earlier rounds, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare designated International Institute for Population Sciences, Mumbai, as the nodal agency to conduct NFHS-4.
The main objective of each successive round of the NFHS has been to provide essential data on health and family welfare and emerging issues in this area.