National Family Health Survey (NFHS)–5 Report: UPSC


According to the National Family Health Survey (NFHS)–5 conducted from 2019-21, 32% of married girls and women aged 15-49 are employed. Among these, 83% earn cash while 15% do not receive any payment.

The report also provides data on the socio-economic and other parameters, useful for policy formulation and effective programme implementation.

The employment rate among women in this age group shows a marginal increase to 32% from 31% as recorded in NFHS-4.

The percentage of earning women has also increased by 3%,.

The latest NHFS survey has not seen a change in the percentage of employed men, while those that earn cash has increased from 91% to 95%.

In India, only 32% of married girls and women aged 15-49 are employed, compared to 98% of married men in the same age group.

Among working girls and women, 83% earn cash, including 8% who are compensated both in cash and in kind. 15% of the employed women are not paid for their work.

In comparison, 95% of employed men earn cash, while 4% do not receive any payment.

Among working girls and women in the age group of 15-19, 22% of them do not receive any compensation. This ratio declines to 13-17% with women aged 25 and above.

Women’s participation in decisions about their own earnings has slightly increased (from 82% to 85%) in the four years since NFHS-4.

However, the percentage of women earning equal to or more than their husbands has slightly decreased from 42% in NFHS-4 to 40%.

The latest NHFS survey was conducted in around 6.37 lakh sample households from 707 districts in 28 states and eight union territories, covering 7,24,115 women and 1,01,839 men.

The percentage of employment among married women declined between 2015-16 and 2019-21 by 15.1 percentage points in Mizoram, 6.1 percentage points in Jharkhand and 4.2 percentage points in Madhya Pradesh. Even in states where employment has not declined, the quality of employment has been worsening.

Similarly, over the same period, women’s participation in decisions about their own earnings declined by 6.1 percentage points in Manipur, 5.6 percentage points in Arunachal Pradesh and showed no change (less than 1 percentage point) in Nagaland, Kerala and Meghalaya.

Around 75% of boys and men in the age group of 15-49 are currently employed, while only 25% of girls and women in the same age group have jobs.

The data also showed that employed women are more likely to use modern contraception.

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