Outcomes Nutritional status

Stunting in children under 5 years


Percentage of children 0–59 months who are more than 2 standard deviations below the median height for age of the WHO Child Growth Standards. Regional data, where disaggregated, is based on the population weighted means of all constituent countries with available data.


Stunting, or chronic malnutrition, is the outcome of growth faltering that takes place in utero and early childhood as a result of inadequate nutrient intake and repeated bouts of infection. Stunting is largely irreversible, and in addition to suboptimal growth outcomes, it is associated with poor cognitive development, reduced productive capacity, and poor health. Stunting may also increase risk of overweight, obesity, and noncommunicable diseases later in life.