Launch of the Nepal Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey - 2019 (MICS6) full report

19 December 2020
This image shows two children washing their hands at a tap

KATHMANDU, NEPAL – 7 DECEMBER 2020: The Central Bureau of Statistics has released the survey findings report of the Nepal Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2019 (NMICS 2019). The report is made available through the CBS website and the UNICEF Nepal website.

The Survey shows that Nepal has made significant progress in reaching the Sustainable Development Goals' indicators, including those on child mortality, child nutrition, access to water and sanitation, and birth registration.

The latest Nepal MICS provides statistically sound and comparable data to monitor the situation of children and women in Nepal, including the functional limitations status of children. This will help to monitor progress in reaching the goals of international agreements such as the Sustainable Development Goals and to formulate plans and programmes for those that require immediate attention.

For the first time, the Nepal MICS 2019 included The Washington Group/UNICEF Module on Child Functioning. The module collects information on children aged between two  and 17 years old and assesses any functional difficulties, including hearing, vision, communication and comprehension, learning, mobility and emotions.

The report reveals that approximately one million children in Nepal have at least one functional limitation. Girls and boys are equally affected, although children living in rural settings and poor families have a slightly higher prevalence of such limitations. The Sudoopashchim Province has the highest rate (12 per cent) of functional limitations among children aged between two and 17, and the Bagmati Province has the lowest (9.3 per cent).

The findings of the Nepal MICS 2019 will be instrumental in formulating sectoral plans and shaping polices to help achieve national and international commitments. Most of the disaggregated results and the datasets were available to the public before the launch of the final report and are being used by policymakers, planners, researchers, development partners and non-governmental organizations to formulate programmes and strategies.

According to the survey:

  • 8 per cent of women aged between 20-24 were married before they were 15 years old, and 33 per cent were married before they reached 18 years old.
  • 19 per cent of children aged between 10 to 14 experience severe physical punishment, 78 per cent experience physical aggression, and 82 per cent are exposed to some form of violent discipline.
  • The under-five mortality rate, infant mortality rate, and neonatal mortality rate in Nepal have all declined over the past five years. Since the MICS 2014, the under-five mortality rate has declined from 37 to 28 deaths per 1,000 live births, the infant mortality rate dropped from 31 to 25 deaths per 1,000 live births and the neonatal mortality rate declined from 19 to 16 per 1,000 live births.
  • 20 per cent of children in school Grades 2 and 3 have foundational reading skills and numeracy skills.
  • 3 per cent of children have access to three or more children’s books, whereas only 66 per cent of children have access to two or more types of toys.
  • Overall, the completion rate of lower basic education is 82 per cent, upper basic education is 73 per cent, and secondary level education is 27 per cent. The completion rate for girls is slightly higher than boys at all levels.
  • In the past two years, three out of four women gave birth to a child in a health facility.
  • Overall, 32 per cent of children under the age of five are stunted, 12 per cent are wasted and 3 per cent are overweight. One child in four, under the age of five, is underweight for his or her age.
  • 95 per cent of the population has access to basic drinking water, but only 24 per cent of households are drinking safe water that is free from contamination such as E. coli and arsenic. Around 79 per cent of households have access to a basic toilet.
  • Nationwide, the births of 77 per cent of children, under the age of five, are registered. The Bagmati Province has the lowest level of registrations with 70.8 per cent, whereas the Sudurpaschim and Karnali provinces have the highest percentage of births registered. 

The survey was led by the Central Bureau of Statistics with financial and technical support from UNICEF. Children, women and men in 12,800 households were surveyed using various methods in 512 clusters of Nepal, representing all seven provinces disaggregated by urban and rural areas. The fieldwork was conducted from May to November 2019.

Media contacts

Krishna Tuladhar/Suresh Basnyat
Directors, Gender & Social Statistics Section
Tel: +977-1-4245946
Tel: +977-1-4245913
Tania Dhakhwa
Chief of Communication
Tel: 977-9801244524

About the Central Bureau of Statistics

The Central Bureau of Statistics is the central agency of the Government of Nepal for the collection, consolidation, processing, analysis, publication and dissemination of statistics. It generates timely and reliable socio-economic statistics mainly through the operation of censuses and surveys. For more information, see


UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone. For more information about UNICEF Nepal and its work for children, visit

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