Shri Amitabh Kant, CEO, Niti Aayog, launches Young Lives India Round Five Preliminary Findings on Growth & Nutrition, Poverty & Intergenerational Change, Education and Youth & Transition

Launch Cover

Shri Amitabh Kant, CEO, Niti Aayog, launches Young Lives India Round Five Preliminary Findings on Growth & Nutrition, Poverty & Intergenerational Change, Education and Youth & Transition




New Delhi, 31 September 2017 – Hon’ble Chief Guest, Shri. Amitabh Kant, CEO, Niti Aayog, today launched Young Lives Round Five preliminary findings on Growth & Nutrition, Poverty & Intergenerational Change, Education and Youth & Transition in India, drawing on longitudinal research conducted in 2016-17 in United Andhra Pradesh. 



Unveiling the Young Lives India Round Five Factsheet 2016-17, Mr. Kant said:


“I would like to compliment Young Lives for a very unique, comprehensive and in-depth study which brings out real data and will benefit many of us in Niti Aayog. We will very closely examine the findings and will take this further to learn the lessons and make policy changes based on this study.”


Sharing the Young Lives Evidence from Round 5 longitudinal research, Prof. Jo Boyden, Director, Young Lives, University of Oxford said:


“Young Lives is collecting a wealth of information through a large-scale household survey of all the children and their primary caregivers, bolstered by in-depth interviews, group work and case-studies with a sub-sample of the children and their caregivers, teachers and community representatives. This not only tracks the material and social circumstances of the Young Lives sample, but also captures their perspectives on life and their aspirations for the future, set against the environmental and social realities of their communities.”


Young Lives work spans 15 years following 3000 children in India, following a life course perspective and covering various stages of development infancy, adolescence and transition into adulthood. The five rounds of survey data, supplemented by four rounds of nested qualitative case studies, affords Young Lives a unique cross-country longitudinal dataset exploring the causes and consequences of poverty in childhood. The two cohorts who were 1 yea r and eight-year-old in 2002, turned 15 and 22 in the fifth round of the survey and some of the older cohort have become parents themselves. The longitudinal study allows us to examine how the lives of children, living in different circumstances and in diverse contexts, change over time.


While addressing at the launch, Ms. Stuti Kacker, Chairperson, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) said, 


“Young Lives has closely worked with NCPCR on the issue of child marriage and I recollect that it was their finding that 37 percent of the girls are married in Round 4 that made me realise how powerful the dataset was. Round 5 now tells us that 56% of the women are now married and less than half the women are engaged in economic activities compared to 3 out 4 young men at age 22. I am really glad to be part of this dissemination and hope that the insights and policy recommendations that Young Lives team has provided will be taken forward in intervention, designed to reach the last child.”


While sharing the key findings from longitudinal study, Dr. Renu Singh, Country Director, Young Lives India, remarked:


“Five Rounds of data have shown that there has been an increase in wealth index across all households, inequities still exist between Other Castes on the one hand and Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes on the other. Despite significant economic growth, over one quarter of our cohort of 15-year-old children continued to suffer from stunting (28%). There has been a positive increment in enrolment over time, with 91% of children enrolled in school at the age of 15, compared to 78% of 15-year olds in 2009 with the biggest increase of enrolment seen among girls and poorest households. However, learning levels have showed no improvement, and is a matter of concern. At 22, we find that 61% percent of the 22-year olds engaged in both agricultural and non-agricultural work, 56% young women married and only 16% still studying. The gender inequity in access to technology is also an area that needs to be addressed.”


The longitudinal education findings released today highlight insights from the latest round of research collection, while looking back to the markers provided by previous research rounds. While the research was done in United Andhra Pradesh, many of the findings are indicative of the state of the nation as well. Some key findings:


Growth & Nutrition

Despite significant economic growth, over one quarter of our cohort of 15-year-old children continued to suffer from malnutrition (28% stunting and 25% thinness). But a considerable reduction was seen in malnutrition in 2016 compared to 15-year-olds in 2009 (28% compared to 36%). Significant inequalities persist in malnutrition status across socio-economic groups. For example, 17% of Other Caste children were stunted in 2016 compared to 37% of Scheduled Caste children. The food intake of children is changing over time. In 2016, 56% of Younger Cohort children had eaten pulses, legumes and nuts within the previous 24 hours, which is a substantial increase from 32% in 2009 for children of the same age. Socially marginalised groups and the poorest households need to be targeted in efforts to reduce malnutrition.


Poverty & Intergenerational Change

Overall, there is an increase in average wealth over time with the highest percentage change between Round 1 (2002) and Round 5 (2016) for Scheduled Tribes households. While differences in household wealth based on location and caste have reduced over time, substantial inequalities persist between Other Castes on the one hand and Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes on the other. The highest percentage change in access to services is seen among Scheduled Tribes, in rural households, and in households where mothers had no formal education. The largest change is seen in the average access to consumer durables, particularly among Scheduled Tribes, Scheduled Castes, households from rural areas, and where mothers had no formal education. By 2016, access to safe drinking water and electricity is near universal across all locations. Only half of households have access to sanitation. Although there have been improvements since 2002, access to sanitation facilities remains at 30% among Scheduled Tribes compared to 55% for the other three caste groups, and 31% in rural areas compared to 95% in urban areas. More households report vulnerability to economic shocks in 2016 than in 2006.


Education & Learning

91% of 15-year-old children were enrolled in secondary schools in 2016, up from 78% for 15-year-olds in 2009.The increase in enrolment was particularly significant for girls and Backward Class (BC) children, with 90% of 15-year-old girls enrolled in 2016 (compared with 74% in 2009) and 91% of BC children (compared with 76% in 2009). The number of children attending private schools marginally increased from 35% in 2009 to 37% in 2016. The Private school enrolment in 2016 remains biased towards boys (41%), Other Castes (62%), the top wealth tercile (62%), and urban children (64%). The learning levels of 15-year olds in 2016 (for the same mathematics question) did not show improvement, compared to 15-year olds in 2009.


Youth Transitions: Skills, Work & Family Transitions

A substantial difference in the rate of enrolment in education and training at age 22 exists between young men (26%) and young women (16%). While 35% of young people had either completed or were pursuing higher education at age 22, 22% of the Older Cohort had had not been educated beyond primary or upper primary level. More men (76%) were engaged in economic activity by age 22 than women of the same age (47%). This was paralleled by more women (56%) than men (11%) being married, the highest rates being among Backward Class (54%) and rural young women (66%). Participation in agricultural and non-agricultural sectors combined is significantly higher among Scheduled Castes (70%), poorer households or bottom wealth tercile households (81%) and those living in rural locations (68%). Around 18% of 22-year-olds are using computers, 4% tablets, and 21% internet, and 34% are using mobile phones with internet access, although there are substantial gender and socio-economic inequalities. The use of mobile phones with internet access is three times higher among youth from top wealth tercile households (55%), than among youth from bottom wealth tercile households (17%).


The factsheets can be downloaded from


Below are the video Links from the Launch: 

Presentation on India Findings from Round 5 Longitudinal Survey by Dr. Renu Singh -

Key Note Address, Shri Amitabh Kant, CEO, Niti Aayog -

Prof. Jo Boyden's presentation on YL Global Evidence -

About Young Lives


Young Lives is an international study of childhood poverty, following the lives of 12,000 children in four countries (Ethiopia, India, Peru and Vietnam) over fifteen years.


Young Lives is funded by UK aid from the Department for International Development (DFID).

Young Lives India is a collaboration between CESS (Hyderabad), SPMVV (Tirupati), Save the Children, and University of Oxford (UK). For more details, visit