Prevalence of underweight, weight for age (% of children under 5)

Definition: Prevalence of underweight children is the percentage of children under age 5 whose weight for age is more than two standard deviations below the median for the international reference population ages 0-59 months. The data are based on the WHO's new child growth standards released in 2006.

Description: The map below shows how Prevalence of underweight, weight for age (% of children under 5) varies by country. The shade of the country corresponds to the magnitude of the indicator. The darker the shade, the higher the value. The country with the highest value in the world is Yemen, with a value of 39.90. The country with the lowest value in the world is Australia, with a value of 0.20.

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. Adjusted, comparable data are available at http://www.who.int/nutgr

See also: Country ranking, Time series comparison

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Aggregation method: Linear mixed-effect model estimates

Periodicity: Annual

General Comments: Undernourished 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 int