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Socio-economic differentials in child stunting are consistently larger in urban than rural areas

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  • Menon, Purnima
  • Ruel, Marie T.
  • Morris, Saul Sutkover

Abstract

Urban-rural comparisons of childhood undernutrition suggest that urban populations are better-off than rural populations. However, these comparisons could mask the large differentials that exist among socioeconomic groups in urban areas. Data from the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) for 11 countries from three regions were used to test the hypothesis that intra-urban differentials in child stunting were greater than intra-rural differentials, and that the prevalence of stunting among the urban and the rural poor was equally high. A socioeconomic status (SES) index based on household assets, housing quality, and availability of services was created separately for rural and urban areas of each country, using principal components analysis. In most countries, stunting in the poorest urban quintile was almost on par with that of poor rural dwellers. Thus, malnutrition in urban areas continues to be of concern, and effective targeting of nutrition programs to the poorest segments of the urban population will be critical to their success and cost-effectiveness.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in its series FCND discussion papers with number 97.

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Date of creation: 2000
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Handle: RePEc:fpr:fcnddp:97

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Related research

Keywords: Malnutrition in children. ; Growth. ; Urban health. ; Rural health. ;

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Cited by:
  1. Smith, Lisa C. & Ruel, Marie T. & Ndiaye, Aida, 2005. "Why Is Child Malnutrition Lower in Urban Than in Rural Areas? Evidence from 36 Developing Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(8), pages 1285-1305, August.
  2. Arimond, Mary & Ruel, Marie T., 2002. "Progress in developing an infant and child feeding index," FCND discussion papers 143, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  3. Ben Crow & Nichole Zlatunich & Brian Fulfrost, 2009. "Mapping global inequalities: Beyond income inequality to multi-dimensional inequalities," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(8), pages 1051-1065.
  4. Hoddinott, John & Haddad, Lawrence James & Besley, Tim & Adato, Michelle, 2001. "Participation and poverty reduction," FCND discussion papers 98, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  5. Ruel, Marie T. & Menon, Purnima, 2002. "Creating a child feeding index using the demographic and health surveys," FCND discussion papers 130, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  6. Simmons, Cynthia & Walker, Robert & Perz, Stephen & Aldrich, Stephen & Caldas, Marcellus & Pereira, Ritaumaria & Leite, Flavia & Fernandes, Luiz Claudio & Arima, Eugenio, 2010. "Doing it for Themselves: Direct Action Land Reform in the Brazilian Amazon," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 429-444, March.
  7. Smith, Lisa C. & Ruel, Marie T. & Ndiaye, Aida, 2004. "Why is child malnutrition lower in urban than rural areas?," FCND discussion papers 176, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  8. Coady, David P. & Skoufias, Emmanuel, 2001. "On the targeting and redistributive efficiencies of alternative transfer instruments," FCND discussion papers 100, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

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