National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4), India, 2015-16: Odisha


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 Odisha presents the important findings of the survey’s fourth round, conducted in 30 districts between January 21 and July 14, 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 Odisha, data was gathered from 30,242 households (5,805 urban and 24,437 rural); 33,721 women (aged 15-49) and 4,634 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 health insurance.


  1. The overall sex ratio in Odisha was 1,036 females per 1,000 males. However, the sex ratio of the under-7 population was 934 females per 1,000 males.

  2. 27 per cent of the population was under the age of 15; only 8 per cent was 65 years and above.

  3. The state’s households had an average of 4 members;. women headed 14 per cent of all households – comprising 11 per cent of the population.

  4. Almost two-thirds (65 per cent) of all households didn’t have any sanitation facility and their members defecated in the open. About 86 per cent of households had electricity, only one-tenth had piped water within their dwellings, and only19 per cent used clean fuel for cooking.

  5. School attendance was 92 per cent in the 6-14 age group with almost no gender disparity. However, in the 15-17 age group, attendance dropped to 66 per cent among girls and 70 per cent among boys. Among adults, only 13 per cent of women had completed 12 or more years of schooling compared to 21 per cent of men.

  6. The median age for first marriage was 19.9 years among women aged 20-49 years. While 21 per cent of women (20-24 years at the time of the study) were married before the legal minimum age of 18, the figure was 16 per cent for men (25-29 years).

  7. The fertility rate in Odisha – 2.1 children per woman – had reached replacement level fertility (a steady population replacement rate over time). Women with no schooling were 8 times more likely to have begun childbearing between 15 and 19 years than women who had 12 or more years of schooling. The rate of contraceptive use among married women was around 57 per cent.

  8. The infant mortality rate (IMR) was estimated at 40 deaths before the age of one per 1,000 live births, down from the NFHS-3 (2005-06) estimate of 65. IMR was more than twice as high in rural areas than in urban areas. It was also much higher among children whose mothers had no schooling (58 per 1,000 live births) as compared to children whose mothers had completed 10 or more years of schooling (18 per 1,000 live births).

  9. More than four-fifths of deliveries (85 per cent) took place in a public health facility and 14 per cent were at home. The percentage of births in a health facility more than doubled from NFHS-3 (36 per cent) to NFHS-4.

  10. Around 79 per cent children aged 12-23 months received all basic vaccinations; only 6 per cent had not received any vaccinations at all. 78 per cent of children under the age of 6 received some nutrition and health services at an anganwadi centre.

  11. 34 per cent of children under 5 were underweight,  while 51 per cent women and 48 per cent men were either too thin, or overweight or obese. 51 per cent of women, 45 per cent of children (aged 6-59 months) and 28 per cent of men were anaemic.

  12. For ‘menstrual protection’, 69 per cent of women used cloth, 34 per cent used sanitary napkins, 12 per cent used locally-made napkins, and 2 per cent used tampons. Only 47 per cent of women aged 15-24 used a hygienic menstrual protection method.

  13. Only 28 per cent of all women were employed in the 12 months preceding the survey as compared to 84 per cent of all men. 66 per cent of employed women and 67 per cent of employed men worked in non-agricultural occupations.

  14. Only 20 per cent of women were allowed to go to the market, a health facility and places outside the village/community by themselves.

  15. 35 per cent of women (aged 15-49) had experienced physical or sexual violence. Only 13 per cent of women who had ever experienced physical or sexual violence sought help.

    Focus and Factoids by Ajay Srinivasmurthy.

    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, Laxmi Kant Dwivedi, Dhananjay W. Bansod and Fred Arnold


Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India


01 Oct, 2017