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DATA STORY : National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) on open defecation

  • Published
    20th May, 2022

Recently published data from the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) show that residents in over 25% of rural households defecated in the open

On October 2, 2019, all the villages in the 36 States and Union Territories of India were declared open defecation-free (ODF). However, recently published data from the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) show that none of the 30 States surveyed are open defecation-free. 

In States such as Bihar and Jharkhand, the share of such rural households was higher than 40%. And among rural households, access to toilets varied widely based on caste and wealth. Among rural Scheduled Tribe (ST) households, 65% had access to toilets, whereas more than 85% of non-Scheduled Caste (SC), non-ST and non-Other Backward Classes (OBC) households did. Also, only about 52% of the rural and urban households belonging to the lowest wealth quintile had access to toilets.

Also, a survey released by the National Statistical Office (NSO) in November 2019, titled “Drinking water, sanitation, hygiene and housing conditions in India”, claimed that about 28.7% of rural households across India still lacked access to any form of latrines. Moreover, 3.5% of those who have access to latrines, don't use it.

This data story aims to highlight the NFHS-5 data with respect to access to toilets.

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