Rural Health Statistics, 2018-19


The government of India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare released its annual publication Rural Health Statistics for 2018-19 in December 2019. The report – which contains data from all states and union territories up to March 31, 2019 – aims to aid the planning, monitoring and management of health infrastructure in India, and help identify gaps in the healthcare system in rural areas, especially in tribal regions.

The report’s three parts contains a discussion on India’s rural healthcare system (Part I), detailed state-wise healthcare statistics (Part II) and annexures (Part III). Part II contains 11 sections covering India's health infrastructure from 2005 to 2019 (Section I); district-wise healthcare infrastructure (Section II); demographic indicators (Section III); infrastructure and ‘building position’ in rural areas (Section IV); healthcare personnel in rural areas (Section V); health infrastructure in rural areas (Section VI); health infrastructure and personnel in urban areas (Section VII); training schools for paramedical staff (Section VIII); ‘parameters of achievement’ in rural healthcare (Section IX); health personnel and infrastructure at health and wellness centres (Section X) and rural health infrastructure in tribal areas (Section XI).


  1. The estimated mid-year population of India in July 2019 was over 1.3 billion people – nearly 900 million in rural and over 400 million in urban areas.

  2. For rural areas, the estimated mid-year tribal population as of July 2019 was nearly a 100 million.

  3. Rural areas cover 2,987,397.96 square kilometres and 91.73 per cent of India’s total area, and urban areas cover 96,120.96 square kilometres. Tribal areas (urban and rural) cover 4,90,394.51 square kilometres.

  4. According to Census 2011, there are 716 districts and 6,40,867 villages in India.

  5. India’s population density in 2019 was 411 people per square kilometre – 4,719 people per square kilometre in urban areas, and 296 people in rural areas.

  6. In February 2018, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare announced that they would transform existing primary health centres (PHCs) and sub centres (SCs) to create 150,000 health and wellness centres (HWCs) offering ‘comprehensive primary healthcare services’.

  7. As of March 31, 2019, there were 7,821 ‘health and wellness centres-sub centres’ (HWC-SCs) in rural areas and 98 in urban areas. There were 8,242 ‘health and wellness centres-primary health centres’ (HWC-PHCs) in rural areas and 1,734 in urban areas.

  8. The report states that rural areas require 189,765 SCs and HWC-SCs, whereas there were only 157,411 in March 2019. There should be 31,074 PHCs and HWC-PHCs, whereas there were 24,855 at the time; and there should be 7,756 community health centres (CHCs) as against the existing 5,335.

  9. There were 3,204 SCs; 3,456 PHCs; 98 HWC-SCs; 1,734 HWC-PHCs and 350 CHCs in urban areas as of March 31, 2019.

  10. In rural areas, the number of SCs increased from 146,026 in 2005 to 157,411 in 2019; the number of PHCs increased from 23,236 to 24,855; and the number of CHCs increased from 3,346 to 5,335.

  11. Tribal areas require 32,433 SCs and HWC-SCs, whereas there were only 28,682 as of March 2019. There should be 4,853 PHCs and HWC-PHCs, where there were 4,211 at the time; and there should be 1,202 CHCs as against the existing 1,022.

  12. In 2005, SCs and PHCs in rural areas had 133,194 female health workers or auxiliary nurse midwives (ANMs) in position – 169,262 were required and there were 6,640 vacancies. In 2019, 234,220 female health workers or ANMs were in position, whereas 1,82,266 were required.

  13. As of March 2019, 24,855 allopathic doctors were required in PHCs in rural India – one doctor per PHC. There were 29,799 doctors in position at the time and there were vacancies for 7,715 more.

    Focus and Factoids by Saahas Arora.


Statistics Division, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare


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


Dec, 2019