State of Health in the Districts of India

  • Sanjay K. Mohanty
  • Nihar R. Mishra
  • Junaid Khan
  • Guru Vasishtha
  • Udaya S. Mishra


This chapter examines the state of health in 640 districts of India. Health is measured in three key domains, namely, child health, adult health and elderly health using a set of eight variables. Child health is measured using stunting, diarrhoea and under-five mortality. Adult health is measured using body mass index (BMI), moderate and severe anaemia among women aged 15–49, hypertension and diabetes among women aged 15–49 and men aged 15–54 and elderly health is measured using percentage of disability among the 60+ population. All indicators except disability and under-five mortality have been taken from NFHS 4. The disability among the elderly has been estimated from the Census of India, 2011, while that of under-five mortality has been taken from published sources. Descriptive statistics and composite index of health have been computed. Districts are ranked in a composite index of health across all 640 districts in the country as well as among all districts within respective state.

Results suggest large variations in each indicator and the Composite Index of Health (CIH). The distribution of CIH suggests that 43 districts had very poor state of health, 90 districts had poor health, 195 districts had average health, 193 districts had good health and 119 districts had very good health. Districts with a high prevalence of diabetes also had a high prevalence of hypertension. While under-five mortality is clustered, stunting is spread across the states of India. The extent of disability among the elderly was higher in the districts belonging to the poorer states of Rajasthan, Odisha and the Northeast compared to districts from South India. The joint probability of districts having good child and adult health was 0.01, while that of good child and good elderly health was 0.06.


Health Child health Adult health Elderly health Stunting India 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sanjay K. Mohanty
    • 1
  • Nihar R. Mishra
    • 2
  • Junaid Khan
    • 3
  • Guru Vasishtha
    • 3
  • Udaya S. Mishra
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Fertility StudiesInternational Institute for Population SciencesMumbaiIndia
  2. 2.Azim Premji Philanthropic InitiativesBengaluruIndia
  3. 3.International Institute for Population SciencesMumbaiIndia
  4. 4.Centre for Development StudiesThiruvananthapuramIndia

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