Explained: India Ranks 101 Out 116 Countries On Global Hunger Index

With a score of 27.5 and a rank of 101, the report terms the situation in India as "serious"

Mohammed Kudrati
Update: 2021-10-15 11:31 GMT

India ranks 101 out of 116 countries on this year's Global Hunger Index (GHI). With a score of 27.5, the report terms the situation of hunger in India as "serious". However, the data also show that India has fallen 11.3 points and 29.1% since 2000, which signals an improvement.

"In the 2021 Global Hunger Index, India ranks 101st out of the 116 countries with sufficient data to calculate 2021 GHI scores. With a score of 27.5, India has a level of hunger that is serious", the India-specific page of the report says. India also has the highest child wasting rate of all countries examined at 17.3%, which is a sub-component of the score falling under the head of child undernourishment.

The child wasting rate is the share of children under the age of five who have low weight for their height, in turn a reflection of acute undernutrition. 

All countries are given a score between 0 and 100, with 0 being the best score and 100 the worst. The annual index is designed to measure and track hunger at the global, national and regional levels, and to assess progress and setbacks in combating hunger.

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In this year's report, India ranks below neighbours China (ranked 1-18th with a score of less than 5), Pakistan (ranked 92nd, with a score of 24.7), Bangladesh (ranked 76th with a score of 19.1), Sri Lanka (ranked 65th with a score of 16) but higher than Afghanistan (ranked 103rd, with a score of 28.3).

However, the score values and ranks across years cannot be compared. The makers of the index have clarified this at multiple points within the index documentation. In 2014, India ranked 55 out of 76 countries. In 2018, India ranked 103 out of 119 countries. In 2019, it was 102 out of 117 countries and in 2020, it ranked 94 out of 107 countries.

Several social media users, including Congress party leaders, blamed the Narendra Modi led government for the poor ranking. 




The first page, presenting the key findings of the report has a note saying:

As always, rankings and index scores from this table cannot be accurately compared with rankings and index scores from previous reports

The comparison across years cannot be made in part due to the availability of data, which varies across the years, and due to a change in methodology, and due to the inclusion of different countries every time. 

However, scores within the same report can be compared.

While the scores across all years cannot be compared, the report does provide the scores for three reference years to indicate a trend for how a country is performing over time. The reference years for 2021 are 2000, 2006 and 2012.


Full View


The report detailing the rankings is published annually by the Concern Worldwide, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and Welthungerhilfe, a German non-governmental organisation.

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How is this score calculated?

The index is calculated across three dimension and four indicators under them.  Like the main score, they are all standardised to a score between 0 (best possible score) to 100 (worst possible score) and aggregated.

The data underlying the score show:

  1. Child mortality: The under-five mortality rate, for which India's ratio is 3.4% in 2019
  2. Prevalence of stunting : 34.7% from 2016 - 2020 in India, showing the prevalence of stunting in children under the age of five
  3. Child wasting: On which India's ratio is 17.3% from 2016 - 2020, the highest among all studied countries
  4. Undernourishment: Refers to the entire population and an indicator of hunger corresponding to 15.3% of the population in India from 2018 to 2020


 A breakup of the score can be seen below

Components of the index
Courtesy: GHI


BOOM has fact checked claims of Global Hunger Index scores being compared before. 

Our story from 2019 can be read here, and 2018 can be read here

Read the latest GHI from here.

Also Read: Indian GDP Estimates Unchanged At 9.5%, But Global Recovery Slowing: IMF


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