Identifying Geographical Heterogeneity of Under-five Child Nutritional Status in Indian Districts

Monirujjaman Biswas, Jawaharlal Nehru University

The present study aimed to decrypt the place-specific local spatial dependence and heterogeneity in associations between under-five nutritional status and its considered correlates using the geocoded database for 640 Indian districts from the most recent 4th wave of the National Family Health Survey, 2015–16. Univariate Moran’s I and LISA statistics were used to confirm the degree of spatial dependence and clustering of under-five nutrition. Multiple regressions [Ordinary least square (OLS), Geographically weighted regression (GWR), spatial (lag/error)] were employed to discern the geographic variance in the determinants of district-level under-five nutritional status. Overall, the prevalence and spatial dependence (Moran’s I) of childhood stunting, wasting and underweight were 38% (0.634), 21% (0.488) and 36% (0.721), respectively. The GWR results disclosed the linkages between under-five nutrition and its driving forces were location-specific and spatially variant with their respective magnitude and direction across districts. From a model performance perspective, the GWR performed best-fit than the OLS and spatial (lag/error) estimates. The findings highlight the geographical dependencies and heterogeneities in under-five nutritional status were strongly explained by a multitude of factors across districts, which can help policymakers in designing and implementing nationwide effective nutrition-centric policy interventions to improve under-five nutritional status.

Keywords: Children and youth, Spatial analysis/regression, Spatial dependence/heterogeneity, Policy

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  Presented in Session 52. Spatial and Socioeconomic Determinants of Child Health