National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) 2019-21: 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, 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 Gujarat – published in March 2021 – presents information covering 33 districts. The Centre for Operations Research and Training, Gujarat, and TALEEM Research Foundation, Gujarat, conducted the fieldwork for the report between June 23 and November 30, 2019, covering 29,368 households, 33,343 women (aged 15-49 years) and 5,351 men (aged 15-54 years).

This 210-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. Over three-fifths (57 per cent) of households in Gujarat were situated in rural areas. Around 77 per cent of households lived in pucca houses and 97 per cent had access to electricity.

  2. About 97.5 per cent of the households had access to ‘improved’ sources of drinking water such as piped water, public taps, standpipes, tube wells and boreholes. ‘Improved’ sanitation facilities that were not shared with other households were accessible to roughly 74 per cent of the surveyed households.

  3. Of the surveyed households, 13 per cent were headed by women. Such households accounted for 10 per cent of the total surveyed population.

  4. Among children aged 6-17 years, 82 per cent attended school. School attendance was slightly greater in urban areas (86.9 per cent) than in rural areas (79 per cent). It was also higher within the 11-14 years age group (86.8 per cent) but reduced dramatically (to 51.1 per cent) for the age group of 15-17 years.

  5. The total fertility rate in Gujarat was 1.9 children per woman. This was a decrease from the fertility rate of 2.03 children per woman recorded in NFHS-4.

  6. The percentage of girls aged 15-19 years who had begun bearing children decreased from seven per cent during NFHS-4 to five per cent in NFHS-5. Those with no formal education were far more likely to have begun bearings children (19 per cent) than those with 12 years or more years of education (one per cent).

  7. The contraceptive prevalence rate among married women (aged 15-49 years) was recorded at 65 per cent, an increase from the estimates of 47 per cent during NFHS-4. More than half of the married women surveyed (53.6 per cent) used modern methods of contraception like sterilisation, injectables, intrauterine devices, contraceptive pills and condoms.

  8. In Gujarat, around 82 per cent of women and 81 per cent of men believed two or fewer children is the ideal number of children. The report states that around 91 per cent of women who have one or two sons wanted no further children whereas 55 per cent of women with two daughters did not want any more children.

  9. The infant mortality rate in the state fell from 34.2 deaths (before the age of one year) per 1,000 live births to 31.2 deaths between NFHS-4 and NFHS-5. During the same period the under-five mortality rate also reduced from 43.5 deaths (before the age of five years) per 1,000 live births to 37.6 deaths per 1,000 live births.

  10. Among children aged 12-23 months, 76.3 per cent had received all basic vaccinations against major diseases such as tuberculosis, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, polio and measles. Around 4.4 per cent of children in that age group had not received any vaccinations at all.

  11. As high as 39 per cent of children younger than five years were stunted (too short for their age) and 25 per cent children in the same age group were wasted (too thin for their height). Among children aged 6-59 months, as high as 80 per cent suffered from anaemia.

  12. In Gujarat, just 39 per cent of the households surveyed had access to health insurance or financing scheme that covered at least one member of the household. Households in rural areas (41.1 per cent) were recorded as having higher health insurance/financing scheme coverage than those in urban areas (36.3 per cent).

  13. About 76 per cent of women and 90 per cent of men (aged 15-49) surveyed in the state had heard of HIV/AIDs. However, only 28.5 per cent women and 35.7 men had ‘comprehensive knowledge’ about the disease.

  14. Of women aged 15-24 years, 66.5 per cent used a hygienic method of menstrual protection. Around 43.8 per cent women used sanitary napkins, 5.1 per cent used tampons while 0.9 per cent used menstrual cups.

  15. Among all women (aged 18-49 years) surveyed in Gujarat, 14 per cent reported having experienced either physical or sexual violence while two per cent reported having experienced both physical and sexual violence. As high as 71 per cent of women who had ever experienced violence did not tell anyone about it or sought help.

    Focus and Factoids by Paridhi Maheshwari.

    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: S.K. Singh, Chander Shekhar, Laxmi Kant Dwivedi and Swati Srivastava


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


Mar, 2021