Prevalence of severe wasting, weight for height, female (% of children under 5) - Country Ranking

Definition: Severe wasting prevalence is the proportion of children under five whose weight for height is more than three standard deviations below the median for the international reference population ages 0-59.

Source: World Health Organization, Global Database on Child Growth and Malnutrition. Country-level data are unadjusted data from national surveys, and thus may not be comparable across countries.

See also: Thematic map, Time series comparison

Find indicator:
Rank Country Value Year
1 Djibouti 7.80 2012
2 Papua New Guinea 7.00 2011
3 Timor-Leste 6.90 2009
4 Niger 6.40 2012
5 India 6.30 2006
6 Indonesia 6.20 2013
7 Mali 5.70 2006
8 Sudan 5.50 2006
8 Burkina Faso 5.50 2010
10 Syrian Arab Republic 5.00 2009
10 Chad 5.00 2010
10 Somalia 5.00 2009
13 Yemen 4.80 2013
14 Comoros 4.50 2012
15 Bangladesh 4.40 2013
16 Albania 4.30 2009
16 Afghanistan 4.30 2004
18 Angola 4.20 2007
19 São Tomé and Principe 4.10 2008
20 Tajikistan 4.00 2012
20 The Gambia 4.00 2013
22 Saudi Arabia 3.90 2005
23 Madagascar 3.70 2004
23 Sierra Leone 3.70 2013
25 Botswana 3.60 2007
25 Egypt 3.60 2008
25 Ukraine 3.60 2000
28 Eritrea 3.50 2010
29 South Africa 3.30 2005
30 Cambodia 3.10 2010
31 Iraq 3.00 2011
32 Pakistan 2.90 2012
33 Fiji 2.80 2004
34 Benin 2.70 2006
35 Lebanon 2.60 2004
35 Sri Lanka 2.60 2012
37 Libya 2.50 2007
38 Dem. Rep. Congo 2.40 2013
39 Philippines 2.30 2011
39 Equatorial Guinea 2.30 2010
41 Ethiopia 2.20 2014
41 Nepal 2.20 2011
41 Zambia 2.20 2013
44 Vanuatu 2.00 2007
45 Lao PDR 1.90 2011
45 Mozambique 1.90 2011
45 Myanmar 1.90 2009
45 Bhutan 1.90 2010
45 Kenya 1.90 2009
45 Uganda 1.90 2011
51 Thailand 1.70 2012
51 Nigeria 1.70 2014
51 Congo 1.70 2011
51 Barbados 1.70 2013
55 Central African Republic 1.60 2010
55 Liberia 1.60 2013
55 Namibia 1.60 2013
58 Armenia 1.50 2010
58 Belize 1.50 2011
58 Burundi 1.50 2010
61 Vietnam 1.40 2010
61 Kazakhstan 1.40 2010
61 Togo 1.40 2014
61 Bosnia and Herzegovina 1.40 2012
61 Haiti 1.40 2012
66 Bulgaria 1.30 2004
66 Malawi 1.30 2010
66 Côte d'Ivoire 1.30 2012
66 Cameroon 1.30 2011
66 Mauritania 1.30 2012
66 Uzbekistan 1.30 2006
72 Lesotho 1.20 2009
72 Tunisia 1.20 2012
72 Solomon Islands 1.20 1989
75 Gabon 1.10 2012
75 Trinidad and Tobago 1.10 2000
75 Algeria 1.10 2012
75 Kyrgyz Republic 1.10 2012
79 Guinea-Bissau 0.90 2010
79 Jamaica 0.90 2004
79 Czech Republic 0.90 2001
79 Ghana 0.90 2011
79 Morocco 0.90 2011
79 Guyana 0.90 2009
79 Guinea 0.90 2012
86 Azerbaijan 0.80 2013
86 Senegal 0.80 2014
86 Jordan 0.80 2012
86 Tanzania 0.80 2010
86 Romania 0.80 2002
86 Suriname 0.80 2010
86 Serbia 0.80 2010
93 Zimbabwe 0.70 2010
93 Mongolia 0.70 2010
93 Oman 0.70 2009
93 Rwanda 0.70 2010
93 Georgia 0.70 2009
98 Belarus 0.60 2005
98 Ecuador 0.60 2012
98 Swaziland 0.60 2010
98 China 0.60 2010
98 Montenegro 0.60 2013
98 Hungary 0.60 1984
98 Dem. People's Rep. Korea 0.60 2012
105 Brazil 0.50 2007
105 Singapore 0.50 2000
105 Kuwait 0.50 2014
105 Brunei 0.50 2009
109 Mexico 0.40 2012
109 Nicaragua 0.40 2006
109 Moldova 0.40 2012
109 Bolivia 0.40 2008
109 Dominican Republic 0.40 2013
109 Turkey 0.40 2013
115 Panama 0.30 1997
116 Argentina 0.20 2005
116 Netherlands 0.20 1980
116 Japan 0.20 2010
116 Paraguay 0.20 2012
116 Guatemala 0.20 2009
116 El Salvador 0.20 2008
116 Honduras 0.20 2012
123 Canada 0.10 1971
123 Colombia 0.10 2010
123 Uruguay 0.10 2011
123 Peru 0.10 2012
123 Macedonia 0.10 2011
123 Korea 0.10 2010
129 United States 0.00 2012
129 Germany 0.00 2005

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Development Relevance: Malnutrition is a serious public-health problem that has been linked to a substantial increase in the risk of mortality and morbidity. Many of the millions of low-birth-weight babies born annually face severe short-term and long-term health consequences. Women and young children bear the brunt of the disease burden associated with malnutrition. It perpetuates the problem across generations, as malnourished women are more likely to have low-birth-weight babies. Malnourished children have lower resistance to infection and are more likely to die from common childhood ailments such as diarrheal diseases and respiratory infections. Frequent illness saps the nutritional status of those who survive, locking them into a vicious cycle of recurring sickness and faltering growth. (UNICEF www.childinfo.org). Many factors can cause malnutrition. Undernourishment, a shortfall in the amount of food energy consumed on a regular basis, is an underlying cause, often compounded by severe and repeated infections and lack of micronutrients, particularly in underprivileged populations. Undernourishment in the general population is measured by average quantity of food calories available for human consumption per person; the distribution of food consumption; and the minimum calories required for an average person. For more information on the measurement of undernourishment, see the metadata for Prevalence of undernourishment (SN.ITK.DEFC.ZS). According to UNICEF 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. Undernourished children have lower resistance to infection and are more likely to die from common childhood ailments such as diarrheal diseases and respiratory infections. Malnutrition indicators help policymakers to quantify the increased risk associated with malnutrition, in terms of attributable mortality and morbidity. The estimates allow policy-makers to compare the disease burden of malnutrition for different countries, and enable resources to be deployed more effectively. Repeated assessments also allow trends to be monitored and the impact of interventions to be evaluated.

Limitations and Exceptions: New international growth reference standards for infants and young children were released in 2006 by the WHO to monitor children's nutritional status. Differences in growth to age 5 are influenced more by nutrition, feeding practices, environment, and healthcare than by genetics or ethnicity. The previously reported data were based on the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics-WHO growth reference. Because of the change in standards, the data in this release should not be compared with data published prior to 2008.

Statistical Concept and Methodology: Estimates of child malnutrition, based on prevalence of underweight, stunting, wasting and overweight, are from national survey data. For more information, consult the original sources.

Aggregation method: Linear mixed-effect model estimates

Periodicity: Annual