research institute for compassionate economics

Child Height in India: New Data, Familiar Challenges | Diane Coffey and Dean Spears | Ideas for India

Children in India are among the shortest in the world. This article, by Diane Coffey and Dean Spears, uses the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4) data to examine the complexity and diversity of child height in the country. It finds that India’s overall average child height-for-age improved between 2005-06 and 2015-16. Although important, this increase is small relative to India’s overall height deficit and its economic progress.  The root causes of India’s stunting reflect social forces and social inequality: gender discrimination in the case of maternal nutrition, and untouchability in the case of open defecation.           Read more…