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


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 Uttarakhand presents the important findings of the survey’s fourth round, conducted in all of the state’s 13 districts between January 30 and July 19, 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 Uttarakhand, data was gathered from 15,171 households; 17,300 women (aged 15-49) and 2,174 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. More than a third (36 per cent) of the households surveyed in Uttarakhand were in urban areas. On average, each household had 4.5 members, and 19 per cent of all families were headed by women.

  2. Around 22 per cent of all households belonged to the Scheduled Castes, 21 per cent to the Other Backward Classes and 4 per cent to the Scheduled Tribes.

  3. 29 per cent of the population was under 15 and only 6 per cent was over 65. While the overall sex ratio was 1,015 females per 1,000 males, the sex ratio of the under-7 population was 918 females per 1,000 males.

  4. 65 per cent of the surveyed households lived in a pucca (permanent) structure and 98 per cent of these homes were electrified.  17 per cent of households defecated in the open, down from 43 per cent at the time of NFHS-3. And 50 per cent of all households had piped water in their dwellings.

  5. 90 per cent of children between 6 and 17 years attended school. In the 6-14 age group, school attendance was 95 per cent, while it was 78 per cent among children between 15 and 17.

  6. 77 per cent of women (aged 15-49) and 91 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.

  7. The fertility rate was 2.1 children per woman and the state had achieved replacement level fertility (a steady population replacement rate over time). Women with no schooling would have 3.1 children as compared to women with 12 or more years of schooling, who would have 1.7 children.

  8. The majority of adults wanted one son and one daughter but there was a clear preference for sons. Women’s desire for more children was strongly influenced by the number of sons they had.

  9. The infant mortality rate (IMR) was 40 deaths before the age of one per 1,000 live births. IMR was higher among women with no schooling (69 per 1,000 live births) as compared to those with 10 or more years of schooling (24 per 1,000 live births).

  10. 75 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). 31 per cent of births took place at home, and only 17 per cent of mothers who gave birth at home received postnatal care.

  11. 58 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. Only 5 per cent of children in this age group had received no vaccinations.

  12. The majority of infants were deprived of their mothers’ highly nutritious first milk (colostrum). 34 per cent per cent of children under 5 were stunted, 20 per cent wasted (low weight for height), 9 per cent severely stunted and 27 per cent underweight. Around 55 per cent of 6-59-month-old children were anaemic.

  13. According to self-reports, 244 persons of every 100,000 were estimated to have medically treated tuberculosis. 1,382 women and 634 men per 100,000 (both in the 15-49 age group) had diabetes, and the numbers for heart disease were 898 women and 1,283 men per 100,000.

  14. Only 20 per cent of households had health insurance that covered at least one member of the family. 12 per cent each of women and men (both in the 15-49 age group) were covered by insurance.

  15. 72 per cent of married women made decisions about their own healthcare, major household purchases, and visits to family and relatives. 27 per cent of all women and 30 per cent of all men believed that it is justifiable for a husband to beat his wife under certain circumstances. 14 per cent of women (aged 15-49) had experienced physical or sexual violence and of these, only 11 per cent 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: Manas R. Pradhan, Sarang Pedgaonkar, Chander Shekhar and Ann Way


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


01 Sep, 2017