NEW DELHI: It is a popular perception that alcohol consumption is much higher in the western states of Goa and Maharashtra, but a new government survey has shown just the opposite of that. According to the National Family Health Survey 2019-20, more men in dry state of Bihar consume alcohol than people in Maharashtra and Goa.  

The survey showed that while alcohol consumption is more in the southern state of Telangana, a much higher percentage of men consume alcohol in Bihar, where there is a total ban on liquor.

Gujarat and Jammu & Kashmir are the states where alcohol consumption is low among men. Tobacco consumption is highest in the country in the northeast region, according to the National Family Health Survey 2019-20.

Since the figures collected during the 2015-16 survey cannot be compared with the latest survey, it is difficult to conclude if there has been any change in the consumption of alcohol or tobacco in the country and in different states.

The 2015-16 survey focused on the people in age group of 15-49 years, but the 2019-20 survey was conducted for those above 15 years of age. The consumption of alcohol in women is highest in states of Sikkim with 16.2% and Assam (7.3%) respectively.

But again, Telangana tops the chart in alcohol consumption followed by Sikkim, Manipur and Goa. The percentage of alcohol consumption in 15+ population in northeastern states is much higher in Mizoram, Manipur, Meghalaya and Tripura.

According to the National Family Health Survey 2019-20, the consumption among rural women is significantly higher than in urban areas in most states.

In all states, the consumption of tobacco is much higher than the consumption of alcohol. Despite concerns about the health hazards of smoking and chewing tobacco and lung cancer and oral cancers, it is widely prevalent in several states. 

The survey shows the highest consumption of tobacco in Mizoram, where 77.8% of men and almost 62% of women consume it. The use of tobacco is highest among men and women in the north-eastern states, including Assam. 

Among other findings, the survey shows that India’s population is stabilising, as the total fertility rate (TFR) has decreased across the majority of the states. 

Of 17 states analysed in the fifth round of National Family Health Survey (NFHS), except for Bihar, Manipur and Meghalaya, all other states have a TFR of 2.1 or less, which implies that most states have attained replacement level fertility, an analysis by the Population Foundation of India (PFI) has said.

The first set of findings from the fifth NFHS, conducted in 2019-20, was released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Saturday, December 12, four years after the last survey (NFHS-4, 2015-16).


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