National Health Profile 2020


The National Health Profile (NHP) is a compilation of health-related data providing information on the demography, diseases, and health resources available in India. The NHP has been published annually since 2005 by the Central Bureau of Health Intelligence, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. The present edition is the 15th publication in the series.

The report collates data from a number of sources including the Directorate General of Health Services and central government organisations. It presents information on indicators like employment, communicable and non-communicable diseases, public expenditure on health, vaccine production in the country and health infrastructure. It serves as an essential resource for the development of health policies, governance, research, health education and training, and the financing and delivery of health services.

The 536-page document is divided into seven chapters: Demographic Indicators (Chapter 1); Socio-Economic Indicators (Chapter 2); Health Status Indicators (Chapter 3); Health Finance Indicators (Chapter 4); Human Resource for Health, (Chapter 5); Health Infrastructure (Chapter 6); and Pandemics (Chapter 7).


  1. As of April 2019, 15,673 habitations across seven states in India (West Bengal, Assam, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Punjab, Jharkhand) reported excess arsenic in their drinking water. Among the seven states, West Bengal and Assam had the highest numbers of affected habitations – 9,245 and 4,293 respectively. The report notes that long-term exposure to arsenic through drinking water can result in skin lesions, cardiovascular diseases and even cancer.

  2. Of the six vector-borne diseases examined in the report, malaria accounted for the highest number of cases (334,685 cases) in 2019 as per provisional estimates. According to the same estimates released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Uttar Pradesh had the highest number of malaria cases for the year 2019 at 92,732 cases.

  3. In 2018, the total number of cases of acute encephalitis syndrome in India was 11,388 cases with 636 deaths caused due to the disease. The largest number of cases (3,080 cases) and deaths (230 deaths) for the year were reported in Uttarakhand. As per provisional country-level estimates, the cases in 2019 were estimated at 13,005 cases.

  4. Provisional estimates for 2019 showed a high jump in cholera cases – from 624 cases in 2018 to 15,024 in 2019. This was primarily due to the very high number of cases reported in Uttar Pradesh (8,676 cases), Madhya Pradesh (3,811 cases) and Karnataka (1,790 cases).

  5. Data released by the National Crime Records Bureau for the year 2018 shows that the total cases of foeticide and infanticide in India was 128 cases and 56 cases respectively. The highest number of foeticide cases were recorded in Uttar Pradesh (22) and Gujarat (21). Whereas, the states with the highest incidence of infanticide were Haryana (10) and Maharashtra (eight).

  6. The budget estimates for 2017-18 state that the per capita public expenditure on health would be Rs.1,657 during this period. The public expenditure on health in India thus would amount to only 1.25 per cent of the total gross domestic product of the country for that year.

  7. Based on the Health in India: NSS 75th Round (July 2017-June 2018), in 2018, the average medical and non-medical expenditure due to hospitalisation per case was – on an average – Rs. 18,993 in rural areas and Rs. 28,589 in urban areas

  8. In 2018, the average medical expenditure per case of hospitalisation (except childbirth) in a government hospital was Rs. 4,837 in urban areas and Rs. 4,290 in rural areas. Average expenditure per hospitalisation case (except childbirth) in private hospitals saw a considerable gap – Rs. 38,822 in urban areas and Rs. 27,347 in rural areas.

  9. As of December 31, 2019, a total of 1,234,205 doctors were registered with the State Medical Councils or the Medical Council of India. Of all the states, Maharashtra had the highest number of doctors (183,843) whereas Mizoram had the lowest numbers (97).

  10. As per data from the Indian Nursing Council, there were a total of 879,508 auxiliary nurse midwives, 2,117,649 registered nurses and midwives, and 56,644 lady health visitors in the country at the end of December 2018. Information from the Pharmacy Council of India noted that there were 1,201,393 registered pharmacists in the country as of August 11, 2018.

  11. The report states that as of March 31, 2019, there were around 929,893 ASHA workers ‘in position’ in the country. Further, there were 24,676 doctors positioned in district hospitals and 13,750 doctors in sub-district or sub-divisional hospitals across the country.

  12. Data cited from daily numbers reported by the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme, National Centre for Disease Control, showed that by July 31, 2020, there were as many as 1,638,749 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the country. The number of total samples tested was 18,843,175, bringing the positivity rate to around 8.7 per cent.

    Focus and Factoids by Devanshi Parekh.


    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.


Central Bureau of Health Intelligence, Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, New Delhi


Central Bureau of Health Intelligence, Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, New Delhi