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Indicator details

License Type
CC BY-4.0
Indicator Name
Prevalence of undernourishment (% of population)
Long definition
Prevalence of undernourishments is the percentage of the population whose habitual food consumption is insufficient to provide the dietary energy levels that are required to maintain a normal active and healthy life. Data showing as 2.5 may signify a prevalence of undernourishment below 2.5%.
Food and Agriculture Organization (
Social: Health & Nutrition
Aggregation method
Weighted average
Statistical concept and methodology
Data on undernourishment are from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and measure food deprivation based on average food available for human consumption per person, the level of inequality in access to food, and the minimum calories required for an average person.
Development relevance
Good nutrition is the cornerstone for survival, health and development. Well-nourished children perform better in school, grow into healthy adults and in turn give their children a better start in life. Well-nourished women face fewer risks during pregnancy and childbirth, and their children set off on firmer developmental paths, both physically and mentally (UNICEF
Limitations and exceptions
From a policy and program standpoint, this measure has its limits. First, food insecurity exists even where food availability is not a problem because of inadequate access of poor households to food. Second, food insecurity is an individual or household phenomenon, and the average food available to each person, even corrected for possible effects of low income, is not a good predictor of food insecurity among the population. And third, nutrition security is determined not only by food security but also by the quality of care of mothers and children and the quality of the household's health environment (Smith and Haddad 2000).
General comments
This is the Sustainable Development Goal indicator 2.1.1[].
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