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


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 Jharkhand presents the important findings of the survey’s fourth round, conducted in 24 districts between April 9 and November 26, 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 (Census 2011). In Jharkhand, data was gathered from 25,723 households; 29,046 women (aged 15-49) and 4,069 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. Of the households surveyed in Jharkhand, 26 per cent were in urban areas. Around 38 per cent of families lived in a pucca (permanent) structure, 80 per cent had electricity, and 70 per cent defecated in the open.

  2. The overall sex ratio was 1,002 females per 1,000 males, and the sex ratio of the under-7 population was 920 females per 1,000 males.

  3. School attendance was 91 per cent among children in the 6-14 age group, but it dropped to 67 per cent among children between 15 and 17. Among adults, 59 per cent of women (aged 15-49) and 80 per cent of men (aged 15-49) were literate, that is, they had either completed Class 6 or passed a simple literacy test conducted by NFHS-4. 

  4. The median age of the first marriage was 18 years for women (aged 20-49) and 23 years for men (aged 25-49). 38 per cent of women (aged 20-24) and 31 per cent of men (aged 25-29) were married before the legal minimum age of 18 and 21, respectively.

  5. The fertility rate of 2.6 children per woman was below replacement levels. Among women aged 15-19, 12 per cent have already begun childbearing, that is, they’d had a live birth or were pregnant with their first child.

  6. A majority of men (56 per cent) thought that contraception was ‘women’s business’. Women were twice as likely to use contraception if they already had a son. Around 40 per cent of married women used some form of contraception and among these, 77 per cent were sterilised.

  7. Only 16 per cent of all women and 18 per cent of all men had ‘comprehensive knowledge’ about HIV/AIDS.

  8. There was a strong preference for sons. 27 per cent of women and 23 per cent of men wanted more sons than daughters, but only 2 per cent of women and 6 per cent of men wanted more daughters than sons.

  9. Among women who gave birth in the five years preceding the survey, 7 out of 10 received antenatal care from a doctor, an auxiliary nurse midwife, a ‘lady health visitor’, a nurse or a midwife. 62 per cent of births took place in a public sector health facility and 38 per cent took place at home.

  10. The infant mortality rate (IMR) was estimated at 44 deaths before the age of 1 per 1,000 live births, down from the NFHS-3 estimate of 69. The IMR was 60 per 1,000 live births for teenage mothers, 39 for mothers aged 20-29, and 44 for mothers aged 30-39. 

  11. 62 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. 45 per cent of children under five were stunted and 29 per cent were wasted (low weight for height), indicating undernourishment.

  12. 65 per cent of all women and 30 per cent of all men had anaemia. Overall, 312 persons per 100,000 were estimated to have been medically treated for tuberculosis. The number was higher among men (443) than among women (180), and more in rural areas (369) than in urban areas (139).

  13. The private health sector was the main source of healthcare for 61 per cent of urban households and 59 per cent of rural households. Only 13 per cent of families had any health insurance scheme, which covered at least one member of the household.

  14. Only 32 per cent of all women (aged 15-49) were employed in the 12 months preceding the survey as compared to 82 per cent of men in the same age group. 45 per cent of women had a bank or savings account that they themselves used and 5 per cent had ever taken a loan from a micro-credit programme.

  15. Of all the women surveyed, 31 per cent had experienced physical or sexual violence. Of these, only 16 per cent of had sought help.

    Factoids and Focus by Lakshmi Ajikumar.


International Institute of Population Sciences (IIPS), Mumbai
Contributors: Laxmi Kant Dwivedi, Sarang Pedgaonkar, H. Lhungdim and Sunita Kishor


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


01 Dec, 2017