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Measuring progress

NFHS data should guide policy

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NFHS | Business Standard Editorial Comment | Health Ministry

Business Standard Editorial Comment  |  Mumbai 

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has released the disaggregated microdata from the fifth round of the National Family Health Survey, or NFHS-5, which was conducted over two years starting in 2019. This is the first release of the since the fourth round, conducted in 2015-16, and provides considerable information about the direction of several indicators of broader welfare in India. The big headline number was already generally known: That India’s total fertility rate, or TFR — the number of children a woman of childbearing age is expected to have — has dipped below the “replacement rate” of 2.1, down from 2.2 in NFHS-4. This has happened sooner than had been expected till recently. While the effect on population growth will be seen only with a lag, it is clear that growing prosperity and female education have, among other factors, begun to address the population problem, which had been seen as insoluble as recently as the 1990s.

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First Published: Mon, May 09 2022. 22:33 IST
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