National Health Profile 2021


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, 16th in the series, was released in 2021.

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

This 492-page document is divided into six 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); and Health Infrastructure (Chapter 6).


  1. Data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India projects that between 2011 and 2036, the overall population of India would increase by 25 per cent – from around 121 crores to 151 .8 crores. The sex ratio of the total population is also anticipated to rise from 943 females (per 1,000 males) to 957 females (per 1,000 males) during the same period.

  2. Between January and December 2020, there were 844,473 microbiologically confirmed cases of tuberculosis.

  3. The report states that among vector-borne diseases, acute encephalitis syndrome accounted for the most deaths in 2020 at 248 deaths. Malaria accounted for 83 deaths, followed by Japanese encephalitis (79 deaths) and dengue (56 deaths).

  4. As per the report, India registered a total of 23,671,178 cases of acute respiratory infection in 2020. Other communicable diseases with high numbers of reported cases in 2020 included acute diarrhoeal diseases (7,205,490 cases), enteric fever (1,069,772 cases), pneumonia (422,250 cases) and viral hepatitis (114,609 cases).

  5. The report states that India made considerable progress in combating the HIV epidemic – the prevalence rate fell from 0.95 per cent in 2004 to 0.24 per cent by 2018-19. In 2020, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Telangana registered the highest number of people living on antiretroviral therapy.

  6. There were as many as 134,826 cases of viral hepatitis reported in India in 2019, the report notes.  The states with the highest number of cases were Haryana (16,247 cases) followed by Andhra Pradesh (15,791 cases) and Punjab (15,693 cases).

  7. The National Program for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke (NPCDCS) examined 4.7 crore people in 2020 for related diseases. Of those, seven per cent had hypertension and 5.8 per cent had diabetes. Additionally, 0.4 per cent were diagnosed with cardiovascular diseases, and 0.1 per cent with common cancers.

  8. There were 137 cases of foeticide registered in India in 2019, an increase from the 128 cases registered in 2018. Similarly, the report notes that the country experienced a rise in infanticide cases from 56 cases in 2018 to 73 cases in 2019.

  9. As of February 18, 2021, a total of 4,568 habitations – defined as “a group of families living in proximity to each other, within a village” – across six states had been affected by the presence of excess arsenic in water. Additionally, excess amounts of fluoride were also found in 6,062 habitations across 17 states in the country, and these habitations were yet to be supplied with safe drinking water as of February 2021.

  10. The 75th round of the National Sample Survey (NSS) – conducted by the National Statistical Office in July 2017-June 2018 – showed that the average medical and non-medical expenditure per case due to hospitalisation (excluding childbirth) was around Rs. 18,993 in rural areas and Rs. 28,589 in urban areas.

  11. As per numbers in 2019, of all the states in India, Maharashtra had the highest number of doctors (183,843) registered with the State Medical Councils or the Medical Council of India. It was followed by Tamil Nadu (144,737 doctors), Karnataka (126,567), and Andhra Pradesh (102,924).

  12. As of January 1, 2019, there were 646,013 AYUSH practitioners registered in India. Of these 309,980 were registered in Ayurveda, 282,346 in Homeopathy, 43,959 in Unani, 7,345 in Siddha, and 2,383 in Naturopathy.

  13. The total actual public expenditure on health services amounted to Rs. 200,532 crores for the year 2017-18, the report notes. It also notes that the per capita public expenditure on health increased between 2011-12 and 2019-20 from Rs. 795 to Rs. 2,053.

  14. As of March 2021, there were a total of 157,921 subcentres in the country – 155,404 in rural areas and 2,517 in urban areas. The number of primary health centres in India was 30,813 and that of community health centres was 5,649. The country also had 1,193 sub-divisional hospitals and 810 district hospitals.

    Focus and Factoids by Devi Divija Singal Reddy.

    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