National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) 2019-21: Arunachal Pradesh


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, Government of India. The NFHS report for 2019-21 is the fifth in this series. It provides information on population, health and nutrition in 28 states, eight union territories, and 707 districts of India.

NFHS-5 presents district-level data on indicators such as population, fertility, family planning, infant and child mortality, maternal and child health, domestic violence and disability. This report on Arunachal Pradesh – published in August 2021 – presents information covering 20 districts. Ipsos, an organisation based in Mumbai, conducted the fieldwork for the report from January 13, 2020, to March 21, 2020, and from December 7, 2020, to April 19, 2021. It covered 18,268 households, 19,765 women (aged 15-49 years) and 2,881 men (aged 15-54 years).

This 202-page document is divided into 14 sections: Introduction (Section 1); Household Characteristics (Section 2); Education (Section 3); Fertility (Section 4); Family Planning (Section 5); Infant and Child Mortality (Section 6); Maternal Health (Section 7); Child Health (Section 8); Breastfeeding, Nutrition, and Anaemia (Section 9); Adult Health and Health Care (Section 10); HIV/AIDS (Section 11); Sexual Behaviour (Section 12); Women’s Empowerment (Section 13); and Domestic Violence (Section 14).


  1. In Arunachal Pradesh, 84 per cent of the households were situated in rural areas. On an average, a single household consisted of 3.9 members.

  2. Around 25 per cent of all surveyed households lived in pucca dwellings and 95 per cent of total surveyed households had access to electricity.

  3. As high as 94.2 per cent of households in the state (98 per cent urban and 93 per cent rural) had access to an ‘improved source’ of drinking water – such as piped water, public taps, standpipes, tube wells and boreholes.

  4. More than half (53.2 per cent) of the households surveyed used ‘clean fuel’ – electricity, liquefied petroleum gas, natural gas or biogas – to cook. The numbers were higher in urban areas (90.1 per cent) than in rural areas (46.3 per cent).

  5. Of the total households surveyed, 82.3 per cent had ‘improved sanitation facilities’, i.e., toilets not shared with other households. Only 1.5 per cent of the households surveyed had no access to any sanitation facility and used open spaces or fields for defecation.

  6. The survey found that overall, 90 per cent of all children aged 6-17 years attended school in the state. However, the attendance in schools dropped from 94.6 per cent at elementary level (aged 6-13 years), and 87.6 per cent at secondary level (aged 14-15 years) to 73.5 per cent at the higher secondary level (ages 16-17 years).

  7. Less than one per cent of the household population in Arunachal Pradesh reported having any disability. About 0.5 per cent of the women and 0.6 per cent of the men surveyed had disabilities, the report notes.

  8. The fertility rate in the state was 1.8 children per woman, a decrease from 2.1 children per woman during NFHS-4. The survey also found that around 6 per cent of girls and women aged 15-19 years had already been or were pregnant at the time of the survey. 

  9. The survey notes that 94 per cent of the pregnancies in the five years prior to the survey resulted in live births. The remaining six per cent accounted for abortions, miscarriages and stillbirths.

  10. Of the women who reported getting an abortion, 62.6 per cent cited unplanned pregnancy and 12.8 per cent cited failure of contraceptives as the reason. Around 40 per cent of abortions were performed at public health facilities whereas 26 per cent were done in private institutes. Roughly 34 per cent of the abortions were performed at home, the survey notes.

  11. As high as 99.4 per cent of women who were married knew of modern contraceptive methods. However, only 47.1 per cent reported using modern contraceptives like sterilisation, intrauterine devices, injectables, contraceptive pills and condoms. The most commonly used contraceptive methods were female sterilisation (18.2 per cent) followed by pills (15.5 per cent) and intrauterine devices or postpartum intrauterine devices (6.2 per cent).

  12. The infant mortality rate in Arunachal Pradesh fell from 23 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2015-16 to 13 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2019-21. During the same period, the under-five mortality rate – probability of death between birth and the fifth birthday – also declined from 33 deaths per 1,000 live births to 19 deaths per 1,000 live births.

  13. Among all surveyed women who had given birth in the five years prior to the survey, 59 per cent received antenatal care from a doctor and 17 per cent received care from a nurse, a midwife, an auxiliary nurse midwife (ANM) or a lady health visitor (LHV). Around 19 per cent reported not receiving any antenatal care.

  14. Among children aged 12-23 months, almost 65 per cent had received all basic vaccinations against tuberculosis, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, polio and measles. Around 9.4 per cent of the children in this age group had not been vaccinated at all.

  15. More than half (57 per cent) of the children aged 6-59 months were anaemic, an increase since the 2015-16 estimates of 51 per cent. The survey also notes that 40.3 per cent of the women and 21.4 per cent of men had anaemia.

  16. As many as 90 per cent of women and 97 per cent of men in the state had heard of HIV/AIDS but only 12 per cent of the women and 33 per cent of the men surveyed had ‘comprehensive knowledge’ about it.

  17. Of the women surveyed (aged 18-49 years), 18 per cent reported having experienced physical violence, two per cent reported facing sexual violence and five per cent had experienced both physical and sexual violence.

    Focus and Factoids by Asif Iqbal.

    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 for Population Sciences (IIPS), Mumbai

Contributors: Hemkhothang Lhungdim, Sarang Pedgaonkar, Laxmi Kant Dwivedi and K. Preeti Singha


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


Aug, 2021