Global Hunger Index 2018: India ranks 103rd out of 119 countries

South Asia’s child wasting rate constitutes a critical public health emergency. The child wasting rate for the region is amplified by India, which has the region’s largest population and highest level of child wasting at 21 percent.

Created On: Oct 12, 2018 15:00 ISTModified On: Oct 12, 2018 15:07 IST
Global Hunger Index 2018: India ranks 103rd out of 119 countries

As per the 2018 Global Hunger Index (GHI), published on October 10, 2018, the level of hunger and undernutrition worldwide fell to 20.9, down from 29.2 in the year 2000.

As per the index, India was ranked 103rd out of 119 qualifying countries. The Global Hunger Index 2018 report was prepared jointly by global NGOs namely, Concern Worldwide (Ireland) and Welthungerhilfe (Germany).

Key facts and figures of Global Hunger Index 2018

  • In the countries included in the GHI, the share of the undernourished population stood at 12.3 percent in 2015–2017, down from 17.6 percent in 1999–2001.
  • 27.9 percent children under five years of age were stunted based on data from 2013–2017, down from 37.1 percent in 1998–2002.
  • 9.3 percent children under-5 years were wasted, slightly down from 9.7 percent in 1998–2002.
  • The under-five mortality rate was 4.2 percent as of 2016, down from 8.1 percent in 2000.

Top 15 countries

The 15 countries with 2018 GHI scores of less than 5 are not assigned individual ranks, but rather are collectively ranked 1–15. These 15 countries are:


























Costa Rica






Bosnia & Herzegovina

Country-wise findings

GHI projections show that at the pace of hunger reduction observed since 2000, approximately 50 countries will fail to reach low hunger levels by 2030; at present, 79 countries have failed to reach that designation according to the 2018 GHI.

Zimbabwe, Somalia, and CAR have the highest rates of undernourishment, ranging between 46.6 and 61.8 percent.

Timor-Leste, Eritrea, and Burundi have the highest stunting rates with at least half of the children suffering from stunting in each country.

Child Wasting is most prevalent in Djibouti (16.7 percent), India (21.0 percent), and South Sudan (28.6 percent).

The highest under-five mortality rates are in Somalia (13.3 percent), Chad (12.7 percent), and CAR (12.4 percent).

The six countries with alarming levels of hunger are Chad, Haiti, Madagascar, Sierra Leone, Yemen, and Zambia.

One country suffering from an extremely alarming level of hunger is the Central African Republic (CAR), which has the highest 2018 GHI score of 53.7 and has been suffering from instability, sectarian violence, and civil war since 2012.

In Burundi, Congo, Eritrea, Libya, Somalia, South Sudan, and Syria, violent conflict, political unrest, and extreme poverty have prompted forced migration, which is closely associated with food insecurity.

However, this year’s GHI includes 27 countries with moderate levels of hunger and 40 countries with low levels of hunger.

Few countries have made improvement since 2000. Angola, Ethiopia and Rwanda, which had extremely alarming hunger levels in 2000, have seen reductions in their GHI scores of 20 points or more.

India’s rank in 2018 GHI


In the 2018 Global Hunger Index, India was ranked 103rd out of 119 qualifying countries. With a score of 31.1, India suffers from a serious level of hunger.

Region-wise findings

At the regional level, the 2018 GHI scores for South Asia and Africa south of the Sahara, at 30.5 and 29.4, respectively, are dramatically higher than those of other regions, indicating serious levels of hunger.

The GHI scores for East and Southeast Asia, the Near East and North Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Eastern Europe, and the Commonwealth of Independent States range from 7.3 to 13.2, indicating low or moderate hunger levels.

Even regions with low or moderate GHI scores include countries where hunger and undernutrition are tremendously high.

In Latin America and the Caribbean (GHI score of just 9.0), the Caribbean island nation of Haiti is one of just seven countries with GHI scores that are considered alarming or extremely alarming and nother country among these seven countries is Yemen of the East and North Africa region (GHI score of 13.2).

In South Asia and Africa south of the Sahara, the rates of undernourishment, child stunting, child wasting and child mortality are unacceptably high.

South Asia has the highest child stunting and child wasting rates of any region, followed by Africa south of the Sahara. In terms of undernourishment and child mortality, Africa south of the Sahara has the highest rates, followed by South Asia.

South Asia’s child wasting rate constitutes a critical public health emergency. The child wasting rate for the region is amplified by India, which has the region’s largest population and highest level of child wasting at 21 percent.

Child stunting in South Asia is also very high. Since 2000, the rate of stunting in the region has fallen from approximately half of all children to over a third, but this still constitutes the highest regional child stunting rate worldwide.

In Africa south of the Sahara, the 2015–2017 undernourishment rate, at 22 percent, increased marginally since 2009–2011 and is the highest regional rate of all regions in the report.

The under-five mortality rate in the Africa south of the Sahara is also high. The 10 countries with the world’s highest under-five mortality rates are all located in this region.

Insufficient progress to reach Sustainable Development Goals

Despite these improvements, the question remains whether the world will achieve United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2, which aims to end hunger, ensure food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture by 2030.

As per the index, the world is still far from a world without malnutrition. The index covers four indicators of stunting, wasting, severe wasting and overweight among children under 5, and reveal insufficient progress to reach the World Health Assembly targets for 2025 and the Sustainable Development Goals set for 2030.

Accelerated progress will be needed to achieve SDG targets in child survival.

Global Hunger Index and how it is calculated?

The Global Hunger Index (GHI) is a tool designed to comprehensively measure and track hunger at global, regional, and national levels.

GHI scores are calculated each year to assess progress and setbacks in combating hunger.

GHI scores are calculated using a three-step process.

    - Firstly, values are determined for each country in four indicators- Undernourishment, Child Wasting, Child Stunting and Child Mortality.
    - Secondly, each of the four component indicators is given a standardised score on a 100-point scale based on the highest observed level for the indicator.
    - Thirdly, standardised scores are aggregated to calculate the GHI score for each country, with each of the three dimensions (inadequate food supply; child       mortality; and child undernutrition.


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