Assessing the Role of Socioeconomic Factors and Place of Residence on the Burden of Stillbirth in India: A Comprehensive Review

Shardhanjali Sinha1, Prakash Ranjan Mondal1, Vipin Gupta1, *
1 Department of Anthropology, University of Delhi, Delhi-110007, India

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© 2022 Sinha et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Anthropology, University of Delhi, Delhi-110007, India; Tel: 9899119242; E-mail:



Due to India's highest contribution to the global burden of stillbirth, identifying and preventing modifiable risk factors of stillbirth is crucial. There is a serious need to assess the overall impact of socioeconomic inequalities on the stillbirth rate in different Indian settings.


The present study aims to assess the impact of different socioeconomic factors and the place of residence on the risk of stillbirth across different regions in India.


For the literature search, PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, and Google Scholar databases were used, which yielded 16821 research articles initially. According to the inclusion/exclusion criteria, a total of twenty potential studies were considered in the analysis.


Enlisted studies represented an association of education (n=16/20), income (n=4/20), occupation (n=8/20), the standard of living index/SES score (n=7/20), and place of residence (n=8/20) with the risk of stillbirth. The increase in wealth and educational status of women leads to a gradual decrease in the stillbirth rate. Stillbirth was more common in working women and in women whose spouse was a laborer or peasant. Rural residence and low socioeconomic score were identified as the strongest predictors of the risk of stillbirth.


By evaluating the impact of socioeconomic factors, specific modifiable risk factors can be ascertained during the first trimester of pregnancy and the prevalence of stillbirth can be reduced. This evaluation may be used to identify the primary risk factors for stillbirth and to create policies to accomplish the objectives of the Indian Newborn Action Plan.

Keywords: Stillbirth, Socioeconomic Status, Occupation, Income, Education, Indian Newborn Action Plan.