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


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 Punjab – published in November 2021 – presents information covering 22 districts. Society for Promotion of Youth and Masses, New Delhi, conducted the fieldwork for the report between January 5 and March 21, 2020, prior to the Covid-19 lockdown and between December 6, 2020, and March 31, 2021. It covered 18,824 households, 21,771 women (aged 15-49 years) and 3,296 men (aged 15-54 years).

This 208-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. The report states that 61 per cent of all households surveyed in Punjab were located in rural areas. About 78 per cent of households lived in a pucca house and almost all households (99.6 per cent) had access to electricity.

  2. About 98 per cent of households in Punjab had basic drinking water service but only 67 per cent had water piped into their dwelling, yard, or plot.

  3. Almost all households in Punjab – 97 per cent – had access to a toilet facility, with slightly higher accessibility in urban areas (98.6 per cent) than in rural areas (96.4 per cent). Around three per cent of all households in Punjab, did not have a sanitation facility and had to use open spaces or fields.

  4. About 75 per cent of women and 20 per cent of men aged between 15 and 49 years were not employed in the 12 months preceding the survey.

  5. Among children aged 6-14 years, school attendance was almost universal at 95 per cent. The attendance dropped to 67 per cent among children aged 15-17 years. In the 6-17 years age group, school attendance was noted slightly higher among girls (88.6 per cent) than boys (86.8 per cent).

  6. The total fertility rate (TFR) in Punjab was 1.6 children per woman. Among women aged 15-19 years, three per cent had already begun childbearing. The report adds that almost half (48 per cent) of all childbirths occurred within three years of the previous childbirth.

  7. The infant mortality rate in Punjab during NFHS-5 was estimated to be 28 deaths before the age of one year per 1,000 live births. The infant mortality rate is higher in rural areas (32 deaths per 1,000 live births) than in urban areas (20 deaths per 1,000 live births).

  8. In the 12 months preceding the survey, about 51 per cent of children under six years of age received services of some kind from an anganwadi centre. The most common services received were supplementary food (48 per cent), growth monitoring (40 per cent), health check-ups (38 per cent) and immunisations (38 per cent).

  9. Since NFHS-4, the percentage of children who were stunted (too short for their age) decreased marginally from 26 per cent to 25 per cent. Percentage of children who were wasted (too thin for their height) also decreased from 16 per cent to 11 per cent between NFHS-4 and NFHS-5.

  10. The report states that about 25 per cent of households in Punjab had a health insurance or financing scheme that covered at least one member of the household.

  11. Only around 21 per cent of women and 38 per cent of men in Punjab had ‘comprehensive knowledge’ about HIV/AIDS.

  12. As high as 93.2 per cent of women aged 15-24 years used hygienic methods of menstrual protection. The report states that 71 per cent of women aged 15-24 years used sanitary napkins, 27 per cent used cloth, 27 per cent used napkins which have been prepared locally, 0.6 per cent used tampons and 0.3 per cent used menstrual cups.

  13. About 82 per cent of women in the state had a bank or savings account that they used themselves. While 42 per cent of women were aware of a microcredit programme in their locality, only seven per cent had ever availed of this service.

  14. The report states that 14 per cent of women aged 18-49 years had ever experienced physical violence and two per cent had experienced sexual violence. Overall, 15 per cent of women in Punjab had experienced either physical or sexual violence and two per cent had experienced both physical and sexual violence. For women who have ever been married, the most common perpetrator of physical violence was the current husband.

    Focus and Factoids by Gokul KP.

    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: Sarang Pedgaonkar, H. Lhungdim, Chander Shekhar, Akash N. Wankhede and Santosh B. Phad


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


Nov, 2021