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National Family Health Survey – 5: India’s Population Has Started to Decrease

The National Family Health Survey 2019-21 (NFHS-5), the fifth in the NFHS series, provides information on population, health, and nutrition for India and each state/union territory (UT).

National Family Health Survey

The National Family Health Survey 2019-21 (NFHS-5), the fifth in the NFHS series, provides information on population, health, and nutrition for India and each state/union territory (UT).

The Objective of the Survey:

The main objective of each successive round of the NFHS has been to provide high-quality data on health and family welfare and emerging issues. NFHS-5 data will be useful in setting benchmarks and examining the progress the health sector has made over time. Besides providing evidence for the effectiveness of ongoing programmes, the data from NFHS-5 help in identifying the need for new programmes with an area specific focus and identifying groups that are most in need of essential services.

Sample Data Collection:

NFHS-5 fieldwork for India was conducted in two phases, phase one from 17 June 2019 to 30 January 2020 and phase two from 2 January 2020 to 30 April 2021 by 17 Field Agencies and gathered information from 636,699 households, 724,115 women, and 101,839 men.

Key Indicators:

Population and Household Profile:

  1. Children under age 5 years whose birth was registered with the civil authority (%) stood at 89.1 compared to 79.7 in NHFS-4.
  2. Population living in households with electricity (%) stood at 96.8 compared to 88.0 in NHFS-4.
  3. Population living in households with an improved drinking-water source stood at 95.9% compared to 94.4% in NHFS-4.

Sex ratio:

The sex ratio that indicates the number of females per 1000 males increased to 1020 from 991 during 2015-16.


Literate women (%) who completed standard 9 or higher and women who can read a whole sentence or part of a sentence stood at 71.5%

Marriage and Fertility:

The percentage of women married before 18 years dropped to 23.3% from 26.8% as compared between the two surveys.

Total fertility rate (children per woman):

India’s population witnessed a steady decline, with the average woman giving birth to only two children during 2019-21. During the latest National Family Health Survey (NHFS-5), it is observed that the Total Fertility Rate dropped down to 2.0 from 2.2 in 2015-16.

The fifth round of survey also stated findings that majorly all the states have a lowered TFR except Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Meghalaya and Manipur. The lowest TFR at 1.1 is found in Sikkim, and Ladakh saw a drastic fall in TFR from 2.3 to 1.3 along with Goa and Andaman also at 1.3.

Family Planning Methods:

There has been an increase in the use of modern methods of contraceptives, with the Overall Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (CPR) increasing from 53.5% to 66.7% in almost all the states and UTs.

The lack of family planning or the inability to implement it also decreased to 9.4% from 12.9%. This includes the gap between two kids, which also fell to less than 10% in all the states except for Jharkhand, Arunachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.

Delivery Care:

  1. Institutional delivery, which means delivery conducted by a midwife and not at home also raised to 88.6% from 78.9%, pan-India.
  2. Total children age 6-23 months receiving an adequate diet % increased from 9.6 to 11.3.

Women’s Empowerment:

  1. The percentage of currently married women who usually participate in three household decisions increased to 88.7 from 84.0 in NFHS-4.
  2. The percentage of Women owning a house and/or land (alone or jointly with others) increased to 43.3 from 38.4.
  3. Women having a bank or savings account that they themselves use increased drastically from 53.0% to 78.6% in NFHS-5.
  4. Women aged 15-24 years who use hygienic methods of protection during their menstrual period increased from 57.6% to 77.3%.

What do you think?

Written by Antara

From a mass communications background, I'm a fervent reader who often tries hands-on with writing. Films and music are my escape from reality, with a dream to make it big someday.

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