The inter-agency team releases annually estimate for child stunting, overweight, underweight, wasting and severe wasting. These new estimates supersede former analyses results published by the JME group, and the entire time series is updated based on available data to date.
Child malnutrition estimates for the indicators stunting, wasting, overweight and underweight describe the magnitude and patterns of under- and overnutrition. UNICEF-WHO-WB Joint Child Malnutrition Estimates inter-agency group updates regularly the global and regional estimates in prevalence and numbers for each indicator. The key findings 2021 Edition includes global and regional trends and, for the first time, country-level estimates are also presented, with a summary of the enhanced methodology for deriving country-level model-based estimates for stunting and overweight. Country progress assessment towards the 2030 targets are provided with summaries by region.
In 2020, globally, 149.2 million children under the age of 5 years of age were stunted, 45.4 million wasted, and 38.9 million overweight. The number of children with stunting is declining in all regions except Africa. More than half of all children affected by wasting live in Southern Asia and Asia as a whole is home to more than three-quarters of all children suffering from severe wasting. In terms of the targets, at country level, the greatest progress is being made towards the stunting target, with nearly two-thirds of countries seeing at least some progress. In contrast, for overweight, about half of all countries have experienced no progress or are worsening.
Key findings of the 2021 edition
Other available related materials and tools
The dashboard generates graphs and charts, using the latest joint estimates for stunting, overweight, wasting and severe wasting. Prevalence and numbers are presented by different country groupings (UN, SDG, UNICEF, WHO, World Bank income groups and World Bank regions.
- Joint data set including surveys estimates
This dataset consists of 997 data sources from 157 countries and territories, which were standardized for analysis purposes. Estimates are adjusted where necessary to be nationally representative and to cover the age range of 0-5 years. The adjustments are specified in the Notes column. As a result of making these adjustments, prevalence might be slightly different from the survey results reported elsewhere.
- Joint model-based estimates for stunting and overweight
This file includes model-based estimates for stunting and overweight based on all input data as included in the joint survey data set (above). Estimates are provided for 155 countries with at least one data point between 1990 and 2020. These are the estimates used for monitoring of the nutrition targets for these two indicators. Details on the model can be found in the Key findings brochure (link above).
- Regional and global joint estimates tables (2021 edition)
- Updated 2021 regional classification
- The detailed methodology is described in the joint publication published in 2012
You can download the JME estimates directly from GHO in other table formats: