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Underage marriage down overall:NFHS-5

  • Published
    7th May, 2022
Context

Data of 5th round of NFHS has been released recently.

About

Key findings:

  • According to NFHS-5, 23.3% women surveyed got married before attaining the legal age of 18 years, down from 26.8% reported in NFHS-4.
    • The figure for underage marriage among men is 17.7% (NFHS-5) and 20.3% (NFHS-4).
  • Tripura has seen the largest jump in marriages under the legal age of 18 years for women from 33.1% (NHFS-4, conducted 2015-1) to 40.1%, and from 16.2% to 20.4% among men.
  • West Bengal, along with Bihar, remains one of the states with highest rate of underage marriages.
    • In Bihar, while it has come down, that reduction is marginal: from 42.5% (NFHS-4) to 40.8% (NFHS-5) for women, and 35.3% to 30.5%, respectively, for men.
  • Some of the biggest gains in improving legal marriage have been seen in
    • Chhattisgarh, where underage marriages have come down from 21.3% to 12.1% among women and from 26.9% to 16.2% among men;
    • Haryana (19.4% to 12.5% for women, and 23.9% to 16% for men);
    • Madhya Pradesh (32.4% to 23.1% for women),
    • Rajasthan (35.5% to 25.5% among women, 35.7% to 28.2% for men).
  • Teenage pregnancies are down from 7.9% to 6.8%.
  • According to NFHS-5, women who are employed are more likely to use modern contraception.
    • The data says 66.3% women who are employed use a modern contraceptive method, compared with 53.4% women who are not employed.
  • Total Fertility Rates, an average number of children per women, has declined from 2.2 (NHFS-4) to 2.0 at the national level.
    • The Survey says only five states are above replacement level of fertility of 2.1: Bihar (2.98), Meghalaya (2.91), Uttar Pradesh (2.35), Jharkhand (2.26) Manipur (2.17).
  • Institutional births have increased substantially from 79% to 89%.

About the NFHS Survey

  • NFHS is released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW). But the MOHFW designated the International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS), Mumbai, as the nodal agency.
  • The IIPS is responsible for providing coordination and technical guidance for the survey.
  • 5 rounds of National Family Health Surveys (NFHS) have been conducted so far in India.
  • The first one was conducted in 1992-93.
  • Every National Family Health Survey (NFHS) has two specific goals to fulfil. These are
    • To provide essential data needed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and other agencies for informed decision-making and policy and programme intervention purposes.
    • To provide insight regarding important emerging health and family welfare issues.
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