National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4) 2015-16: Goa


Since 1992, the International Institute for Population Sciences, Mumbai, has conducted the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) for the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The survey provides detailed information on population, health and nutrition in each state and union territory of India.

This state report on Goa presents the important findings of the survey’s fourth round, conducted in both the state’s districts (North Goa and South Goa) between January 20 and April 6, 2015. Previous NFHS surveys were conducted in 1992-93, 1998-99 and 2005-06.

NFHS-4 surveyed 572,000 households in 640 districts of India (as per the 2011 Census). In Goa, data was gathered from 1,588 households; 1,696 women (aged 15-49) and 848 men (aged 15-54) were interviewed.

The survey collected information on the socio-economic characteristics of households, education, fertility, family planning, infant and child mortality and maternal and child health. It also gathered information on reproductive health, sexual behaviour, marriage, domestic violence, and attitudes towards gender roles. And it included information on the prevalence of HIV/AIDS, nutrition, water and sanitation, health services and insurance.


  1. Around 64 per cent of the surveyed households in Goa were in urban areas. On average, each household had 4 members, and women headed 22 per cent of all families.

  2. 23 per cent of the population was under 15 and only 8 per cent was over 65. While the overall sex ratio was 1,018 females per 1,000 males, the sex ratio of the under-7 population was 897 females per 1,000 males.

  3. 63 per cent of all household heads did not belong either to the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes or other backward classes.

  4. 84 per cent of the surveyed families lived in a pucca (permanent) structure, 99.8 per cent had electricity, 11 per cent defecated in the open, and 90 per cent had piped water in their dwellings.

  5. 96 per cent of children between 6 and 17 years of age attended school. In the 6-14 age group, school attendance was 99 per cent, while it was 91 per cent among children between 15 and 17.

  6. In the 15-49 age group, 89 per cent of women and 95 per cent of men were literate, that is, they had either completed Class 6 or passed a simple literacy test conducted by NFHS-4.

  7. The fertility rate was 1.7 children per woman, which was below replacement level  (a steady population replacement rate over time). Women with no schooling had  3.2 children, while those with 12 or more years of schooling had 1.6 children.

  8. There is not much preference for sons. Most men and women wanted at least one son and one daughter.

  9. The infant mortality rate (IMR) was 13 deaths before the age of 1 per 1,000 live births.

  10. Over 90 per cent of women who gave birth in the five years preceding the survey received antenatal care from a health professional (a doctor, an auxiliary nurse midwife, a ‘lady health visitor’, a nurse or a midwife). Around 97 per cent of births took place in a public sector health facility.

  11. 93 per cent of children were breast-fed on the first day of life, 75 per cent started breastfeeding in the first hour after birth, which gave them the nutritious first breast milk (colostrum). 61 per cent of children under 6 months were exclusively breastfed.

  12. 88 per cent of 12-23 month-old children had received all the basic vaccinations against six major childhood illnesses (tuberculosis, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, polio and measles) before the survey.

  13. 20 per cent of children under 5 were stunted (too short for their age), 22 per cent were wasted (low weight for their height), 10 per cent were severely wasted and 24 per cent were underweight. The rates for stunting and being underweight were higher among girls than boys.

  14. According to self-reports, 74 persons of every 100,000 were estimated to have medically treated tuberculosis. 3,799 women and 3,013 men per 100,000 (both in the 15-49 age group) had diabetes, and the numbers for heart disease were 206  women and 328 men per 100,000.

  15. Only 16 per cent of households had health insurance that covered at least one member of the family.

  16. 21 per cent of women and 13 per cent of men believed that it was justifiable for a husband to beat his wife under certain circumstances. Among women aged 15-49, 12 per cent had experienced physical violence and 1 per cent had been subjected to sexual violence. Only 10 per cent of all women who had experienced physical or sexual violence had sought help. 

    Focus and Factoids by Abizar Shaikh.

    PARI Library's health archive project is part of an initiative supported by the Azim Premji University to develop a free-access repository of health-related reports relevant to rural India.


International Institute of Population Sciences (IIPS), Mumbai

Contributors: Dhananjay Bansod, Abhishek Singh, Manoj Alagarajan and Glen Heller


Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, New Delhi


01 Sep, 2017