Rural Health Statistics, 2019-20


The government of India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare released its annual publication Rural Health Statistics for 2019-20 in May 2021. The report – which contains data from all states and union territories up to March 31, 2020, and, in some instances, July 1, 2020 – aims to aid the planning, monitoring and management of health infrastructure and help identify gaps in the healthcare system in India.

The 262-page report’s two parts contain a discussion on the structure and features of India's healthcare system (Part I) and detailed state-wise healthcare statistics (Part II). Part II contains nine sections covering India's health infrastructure from 2005 to 2020 (Section I); district-wise healthcare infrastructure (Section II); demographic indicators (Section III); infrastructure and ‘building position’ in urban and 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); ‘parameters of achievement’ in rural healthcare (Section VIII); and rural health infrastructure and personnel in tribal areas (Section IX).


  1. India's population density in 2020 was 413 people per square kilometre – 4,530 people per quare kilometre in urban areas and 288 people in rural areas.

  2. Rural areas cover 3,088,115 square kilometres and 94.32 per cent of India's total area, and urban areas cover 102,225 square kilometres. Tribal areas (urban and rural) cover 549,541 square kilometres.

  3. Between 2011 and 2020, India’s estimated mid-year population increased from 833 million to 890 million in rural areas, and from 377 million to 463 million in urban areas. The percentage of people in India’s rural areas dropped from 68.9 to 65.8 per cent.

  4. There were 155,404 sub centres (SCs), 24,918 primary health centres (PHCs) and 5,183 community health centres (CHCs) functioning in rural areas in 2020. In urban areas, there were 2,517 SCs, 5,895 PHCs and 466 CHCs.

  5. In 2005, there were 146,026 SCs, 23,236 PHCs and 3,346 CHCs in rural areas.

  6. As of March 31, 2020, there were 18,610 'health and wellness centres-sub centres', 16,635 'health and wellness centres-primary health centres' and 3,350 'health and wellness centres-urban primary health centres' in the country.

  7. There were a total of 29,745 SCs, 4,203 PHCs and 1,035 CHCs functioning in tribal areas.

  8. The survey’s findings state that there were 1,193 sub-divisional hospitals, 810 district hospitals and 274 medical colleges functioning in the country as of March 2021.

  9. Of the 155,404 functioning SCs in rural areas, 22,767 or 14.7 per cent were without regular water supply, and 44,081 or 28.4 per cent did not have an adequate supply of electricity.

  10. The number of auxiliary nurse midwives (ANMs) at PHCs and SCs across India was 234,220 in March 2019 and 212,593 in March 2020. In the same period, the number of allopathic doctors at PHCs and SCs dropped from 29,799 to 28,516.

  11. As of March 31, 2020, 155,404 ANMs were required, 205,886 were sanctioned and 183,999 were in position in rural SCs, and there were 28,016 vacant positions. In rural PHCs, 24,918 ANMs were required, 33,210 were sanctioned, 28,594 were in position and 5,968 positions were vacant.

  12. In rural SCs, 24,918 allopathic doctors were required, 35,890 were sanctioned and 28,518 were in position as of March 31, 2020, and there were 8,638 vacant positions.

  13. CHCs in rural areas had 702 AYUSH specialists (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy practitioners), 1,096 surgeons, 1,591 obstetricians and gynaecologists, 1,130 physicians and 1,140 paediatricians, in position. There were vacancies for 844 AYUSH specialists, 2,384 surgeons, 1,949 obstetricians and gynaecologists, 2,224 physicians and 1,910 paediatricians.

  14. The average rural population covered by an SC as of March 31, 2020 was 5,729. There was a PHC for every 35,730 people and a CHC for every 171,779 people in rural India.

  15. States and union territories whose SCs each covered less than 3,000 people were Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, Goa, Kerala, Ladakh, Lakshadweep, Mizoram, Sikkim and Tripura. SCs in Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal each covered over 50,000 people.

    Focus and Factoids by Nikita Sawhnwey.

    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.


Statistics Division, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare


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


May, 2021