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


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 Telangana – published in May 2021 – presents information covering 31 districts. Karvy Data Management Services Ltd., Hyderabad, conducted the fieldwork for the report between June 30 and November 14, 2019, covering 27,351 households, 27,518 women (aged 15-49 years) and 3,863 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. Of the households surveyed in Telangana, 65 per cent were located in rural areas and 79 per cent lived in pucca houses. About 99 per cent households had electricity and 88 per cent had access to toilet facilities.

  2. About 68 per cent of all households in the state comprised nuclear families and 19 per cent of all households were headed by women.

  3. In Telangana, 60 per cent boys and 64 per cent girls aged 2-4 years were attending preschool. Around 93 per cent children aged 6-17 years were attending school. As high as 97 per cent children aged 6–14 years and 80 per cent children aged 15-17 years were attending school during the time of the survey, the report adds.

  4. The median age at first marriage among women aged 20-49 years was 18.3 years.

  5. The total fertility rate in the state was 1.8 children per woman. The total fertility rate in urban areas was 1.8 children per woman while the total fertility rate in rural areas was noted to be 1.7 children per woman.

  6. The contraceptive prevalence rate among married women between 15 and 49 years of age was 68 per cent (11 percentage points higher than in NFHS-4). The use of female sterilization had increased to 62 per cent (compared to the 54 per cent in NFHS-4), but its share in the overall contraceptive use had declined to 91 per cent during NFHS-5 from the 95 per cent noted during NFHS-4 surveys.

  7. Almost 50 per cent of men (aged 15-49 years) in Telangana thought that contraception is “women’s business”. As high as 35 per cent of men within this age bracket thought that women using contraception methods risk becoming “promiscuous”.

  8. The infant mortality rate per 1,000 live births was 26 deaths before the age of one, decreasing from 30 deaths per 1,000 live births in NFHS-4. This mortality rate was higher in rural areas (29 deaths per 1,000 live births) compared to urban areas (22 deaths per 1,000 live births).

  9. Among mothers who had given birth in the five years preceding the survey, 94 per cent had received antenatal care from a doctor and 4 per cent from an auxiliary nurse midwife, a lady health visitor, a nurse, or a midwife.

  10. About 79 per cent of the children (aged 12-23 months) had received all basic vaccinations against the six major childhood illnesses: tuberculosis, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, polio, and measles. About 95 per cent of children were at least partially vaccinated, and only 5 per cent of the children had not received any vaccinations at all.

  11. Among children under the age of five years, 33 per cent were stunted (too short for their age), 22 per cent are wasted (too thin for their height) and as high as nine per cent were severely wasted. Moreover, 32 per cent of the children under the age of five were underweight, including both chronic and acute undernutrition. When compared to estimates from NFHS-4, the nutritional status among children had worsened for all of these measures.

  12. About 31 per cent each of all women and men had ‘comprehensive knowledge’ about HIV/AIDS.

  13. Only 48 per cent of women (aged 15-49 years) – compared to the 80 per cent of men – were employed in the 12 months preceding the NFHS-5 survey.

  14. In Telangana, about 32 per cent of women had money which they could spend freely (“decide how to use”, as per the report) and 84 per cent had a bank or savings account that they themselves used.

  15. About 84 per cent of women and 70 per cent of men believed that it is justifiable for a husband to beat his wife under some circumstances. Roughly 74 per cent women and 50 per cent men believed that a woman is justified in refusing to have sex with her husband if she knows he has a sexually transmitted disease, or has intercourse with other women, or if she is tired or not in the mood.

  16. About 38 per cent of women had experienced physical or sexual violence and four per cent women had experienced both physical and sexual violence. Only 21 per cent of women (aged 18-49 years) who had ever experienced physical or sexual violence sought help, the survey notes.

    Focus and Factoids by Aaira Mitra.


    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: Chander Shekhar, Laxmi Kant Dwivedi, Sarang Pedgaonkar, Pushpendra Kumar


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


May, 2021