About National Family Health Survey

About National Family Health Survey
  • NFHS is the most comprehensive health survey in the country which helps in analyzing trends and making policies.
  • First carried out in 1992-93, NFHS (2015-16) is the fourth in this series.
  • Commissioned by the Health Ministry, it is carried out by the International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS), Mumbai.
  • NFHS-4 will survey 5,70,000 households and for the first time provide results at district level.

The gaping data deficit

16 Jan 2014
The gaping data deficit
  • NFHS-3 was conducted in 2005-06 and for almost a decade the data was not updated to arrive at the actual health situation on the ground level.
  • NFHS-4, supposed to be carried out in 2010, was delayed because health ministry officials believed that it should be carried out with the Census-2011.
  • However, the plan was shelved after protests and data collection started only in 2014.

Health conditions of Indians improved: NFHS survery

20 Jan 2016
Health conditions of Indians improved: NFHS survery
  • Phase-I data of the much awaited 'National Family Health Survey-4' (NFHS-4, 2015-16) was finally released by Union Health Ministry.
  • The overall health condition of people has improved significantly in nutrition, immunization, fertility rates, maternal care, etc.
  • However, a long road lies ahead, as more than 50% women in many states suffer from anaemia, while children suffer from stunting due to lack of proper nutrition.

Coverage in Phase-I


NFHS-4 is being conducted in 2 phases. In Phase-I, 13 States and 2 Union Territories were covered whereas the data collection for Phase-II is underway.

Important highlights of the survey

Child Health
Important highlights of the survey
  • In all the 15 states and union territories, infant mortality rate (number of deaths under 1 year of age/1000 live births) have declined with Andaman and Nicobar reporting 10 and Madhya Pradesh recording 51.
  • Immunization has improved to more than 80% in West Bengal, Sikkim, etc.
  • Relatively fewer children under 5 years were found stunted, signifying improvement in nutrition.
  • Anaemia, however, is still widespread.

Maternal health improves in India

Maternal Health
Maternal health improves in India
  • Decline in maternal deaths is clearly visible with improved care during pregnancy and child birth.
  • Number of mothers following the recommended 4 visits to health centers before pregnancy have also increased significantly.
  • Institutional delivery has shot up to more than 90% in AP, Goa, Karnataka, Telangana, etc.
  • However, more than 50% of the women in 11 out of 15 states and UTs remain anaemic.

Fertility rates decline

Family Planning
Fertility rates decline
  • Fertility rates (average number of children a woman potentially bears) have registered a decline with all states except Bihar, MP and Meghalaya achieving replacement level (fertility rate of 2.1).
  • However, decline in fertility rates despite lessened use of family planning methods is misleading.
  • In Karnataka, fertility rates fell from 2.1 to 1.8, while use of family planning methods also reduced from 64% to 52%.

Women getting empowered

Women Empowerment
Women getting empowered
  • Percentage of women managing their own finances has bettered with an unprecedented improvement (16% to 78%) in Tamil Nadu.
  • Surprisingly, Bihar topped in women owning land/houses with 59% women owning property. Data also shows that 90% women participate in household decision making in West Bengal.
  • However, only 28% women own a mobile phone vis-a-vis 43% men.
  • Women's percentage with awareness about HIV/AIDS has declined.