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


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 Gujarat presents the important findings of the survey’s fourth round, conducted in 26 districts between January 30 and June 30, 2016. 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 Gujarat, data was gathered from 20,524 households; 22,932 women (aged 15-49) and 6,018 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, maternal and child health. It also gathered information on reproductive health, sexual behaviour, marriage, domestic violence, attitudes towards gender roles, HIV/AIDS status, nutrition, water and sanitation, health services and insurance.


  1. More than three-quarters (77 per cent) of the households in Gujarat lived in a pucca (permanent) structure. Almost all (96 per cent) of the households had electricity, and 29 per cent defecated in the open – a substantial improvement from 45 per cent at the time of NFHS-3.

  2. As high a figure as 81 per cent of children in the 6-17 age group attended school. Only 21 per cent of women (aged 15-49) had completed 12 or more years of school, compared with 27 per cent of men in the same age group.

  3. The total fertility rate in Gujarat was 2 children per woman. 7 per cent of teenage girls (aged 15-19) had either given birth to a child or were pregnant. Around 56 per cent of all births occurred within three years of the previous ones. Only 12 per cent of women and 15 per cent of men wanted more sons than daughters.

  4. As much as 47 per cent of married women (aged 15-49) used contraception, down from 67 per cent in NFHS-3. And 45 per cent of men in the same age group thought that contraception was ‘women’s business’. This, although 66 per cent of all men knew that a condom, if used correctly, protected against pregnancy most of the time.

  5. The infant mortality rate in Gujarat’s rural areas (39 deaths per 1,000 live births) was higher than in urban areas (27 deaths per 1,000 live births).

  6. No less than 81 per cent of women, who gave birth in the five years before the survey received antenatal care for their last birth from a health professional – doctors, auxiliary nurse midwives, ‘lady health visitors’, nurses or midwives. And 89 per cent of births took place in a public or a private health facility, up from 53 per cent in NFHS-3.

  7. Half the children aged 12-23 months had received all the basic vaccinations against six major childhood illnesses (tuberculosis, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, polio and measles) before the survey. While most children had received at least some vaccinations, But 9 percent hadn’t received any. 

  8. As much as 63 per cent of children aged 6-59 months were anaemic, down from 70 per cent at the time of NFHS-3. Anaemia was far more prevalent amongst women, at 55 per cent as against 22 per cent of men.

  9. According to self-reports (questionnaires answered without researcher guidance), 1,163 women per 100,000 and 1,069 men per 100,000 (both in the 15-49 age group) had diabetes. Overall, 1,348 women per 100,000 and 934 men per 100,000 suffered from asthma. The prevalence of any heart disease was higher among men (476 men per 100,000) than women (327 women per 100,000).

  10. 51 per cent of men and 7 per cent of women (aged 15-49) had used some form of tobacco.

  11. Only 23 per cent of the households in urban and rural Gujarat had any kind of health insurance that covered at least one member of the family. Only 16 per cent of women and 19 per cent of men (aged 15-49) were covered by a health scheme or insurance.

  12. Just 18 per cent of women and 31 per cent of men had comprehensive knowledge of HIV/AIDS.

  13. While just 37 per cent of women (aged 15-49) were employed – for men in the same age group, the number was 84 per cent. Just under half of all women – 49 per cent –  had bank accounts that they themselves used. Of these, 74 per cent had completed 12 or more years of schooling.

  14. Almost a fifth (19 per cent) of women (aged 15-49) had experienced physical or sexual violence, and 2 per cent of the women who had ever been pregnant had experienced physical violence during one or more of their pregnancies.

  15. Close to three-fourths (72 per cent) of women who experienced physical or sexual violence neither sought help nor told anyone about it. Only four per cent of the women who had been abused and sought help reached out to the police.

    Focus and Factoids by Sushmita Iyer.

    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: Chander Shekhar, B. Paswan, Manas R. Pradhan and Sunita Kishor 


Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India


Oct, 2017