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

Author

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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Menon, Purnima & Ruel, Marie T. & Morris, Saul Sutkover, 2000. "Socio-economic differentials in child stunting are consistently larger in urban than rural areas," FCND discussion papers 97, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:fcnddp:97
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    Cited by:

    1. Mesbah Fathy Sharaf & Ahmed Shoukry Rashad, 2016. "Regional inequalities in child malnutrition in Egypt, Jordan, and Yemen: a Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition analysis," Health Economics Review, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 1-11, December.
    2. 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.
    3. David Coady & Emmanuel Skoufias, 2004. "On the Targeting and Redistributive Efficiencies of Alternative Transfer Instruments," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 50(1), pages 11-27, March.
    4. 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).
    5. Agee, Mark D., 2010. "Reducing child malnutrition in Nigeria: Combined effects of income growth and provision of information about mothers' access to health care services," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 71(11), pages 1973-1980, December.
    6. Hoddinott, John & Haddad, Lawrence James & Besley, Tim & Adato, Michelle, 2001. "Participation and poverty reduction," FCND discussion papers 98, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    7. Marie T. Ruel & James L. Garrett, 2004. "Features of Urban Food and Nutrition Security and Considerations for Successful Urban Programming," The Electronic Journal of Agricultural and Development Economics, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, vol. 1(2), pages 242-271.
    8. Ruel, Marie T. & Menon, Purnima, 2002. "Creating a child feeding index using the demographic and health surveys," FCND briefs 130, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    9. Zereyesus, Yacob & Ross, Kara & Shanoyan, Aleksan & Amanor-Boadu, Vincent, 2014. "Children First: Understanding Children’s Well-Being in Northern Ghana," 2014 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2014, Minneapolis, Minnesota 170653, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    10. 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.
    11. 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).
    12. 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.

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