NFHS-5: Reading NHFS-5 data to understand India’s health, population outlook

News: The government of India recently released National Family Health Survey 5 (NFHS-5) data. The data shows some promising trends and some areas of concern.

Read here: NFHS-5 and its findings – Explained, pointwise

What are the findings of the National Family Health Survey 5?

Read here: What does NFHS-5 data tell us about state of women empowerment in India

Population stabilization: The current levels of TFR set the stage for population stabilisation. Currently, the population growth rate is estimated to be 1.37% according to SRS(2018).

This will continue to decline, but the population will continue to grow because of population momentum resulting from a large number of people entering the reproductive age group of 15-49 years. Thus, it can be said that the UN population division’s estimate of population peaking at 165 crores around 2050 will be realized.

Sex ratio at birth: The SRB, as per the SRS report 2018, sex ratio at birth had declined from 906 in 2011 to 899 in 2018. Though NFHS-4 estimated it to be 919 in 2015–16, according to NFHS-5 estimates, SRB has increased to 929. This is encouraging. However, it has decreased in states like Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Bihar and Jharkhand among others.

Read here: Reading sex ratio trends in NFHS 5 data

Stunted children: The proportion of stunted children below the age of five has marginally declined from 38.4% to 35.4%. This has been witnessed in all states except Himachal Pradesh, Kerala and Telangana. Poor diet among children less than 23 months of age is the major cause.

Source: This post is based on the article “Reading NHFS-5 data to understand India’s health, population outlook” published in the Indian Express on 10th January 2022.

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