The principal objective of the 2006 Nepal Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) is to provide current and reliable data on fertility and family planning behavior, child mortality, adult and maternal mortality, children’s nutritional status, the utilization of maternal and child health services, and knowledge of HIV/AIDS. For the first time, the 2006 NDHS conducted anemia testing at the household level for the country as a whole to provide information on the prevalence of anemia at the population level. The specific objectives of the survey are to:
- collect data at the national level which will allow the calculation of key demographic rates;
- analyze the direct and indirect factors which determine the level and trends of fertility;
- measure the level of contraceptive knowledge and practice among women and men by method, urban-rural residence and region,
- collect high-quality data on family health including immunization coverage among children, prevalence and treatment of diarrhea and other diseases among children under five, and maternity care indicators including antenatal visits, assistance at delivery, and postnatal care;
- collect data on infant and child mortality, and maternal and adult mortality;
- obtain data on child feeding practices including breastfeeding, and collect anthropometric measures to use in assessing the nutritional status of women and children;
- collect data on knowledge and attitudes of women and men about sexually transmitted infections and HIV/AIDS and evaluate patterns of recent behavior regarding condom use;
- conduct hemoglobin testing on women age 15-49 and children age 6-59 months in the households selected for the survey to provide information on the prevalence of anemia among women in the reproductive ages and young children.
This information is essential for informed policy decisions, planning, monitoring, and evaluation of programs on health in general and reproductive health in particular at both the national and regional levels. A long-term objective of the survey is to strengthen the technical capacity of government organizations to plan, conduct, process, and analyze data from complex national population and health surveys. Moreover, the 2006 NDHS provides national, regional and subregional estimates on population and health that are comparable to data collected in similar surveys in other developing countries. The first Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) in Nepal was the 1996 Nepal Family Health Survey (NFHS) conducted as part of the worldwide DHS program, and was followed five years later by the 2001 Nepal Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS). Data from the 2006 NDHS survey, the third such survey, allow for comparison of information gathered over a longer period of time and add to the vast and growing international database on demographic and health variables.
Wherever possible, the 2006 NDHS data are compared with data from the two earlier DHS surveys—the 2001 NDHS and the 1996 NFHS—which also sampled women age 15-49. Additionally, men age 15-59 were interviewed in the 2001 NDHS and the 2006 NDHS to provide comparable data for men over the last five years.
Kind of Data
Sample survey data
Unit of Analysis
- Children under five years
- Women age 15-49
- Men age 15-59
Unit of Analysis
- Children under five years
- Women age 15-49
- Men age 15-59
Producers and sponsors
Authoring entity/Primary investigators
Macro International Inc.
United States Agency for International Development
The primary focus of the 2006 NDHS was to provide estimates of key population and health indicators, including fertility and mortality rates, for the country as a whole and for urban and rural areas separately. In addition, the sample was designed to provide estimates of most key indicators for the 13 domains obtained by cross-classifying the three ecological zones (mountain, hill and terai) with the five development regions (East, Central, West, Mid-west, and Far-west).
The 2006 NDHS used the sampling frame provided by the list of census enumeration areas with population and household information from the 2001 Population Census. Each of the 75 districts in Nepal is subdivided into Village Development Committees (VDCs), and each VDC into wards. The primary sampling unit (PSU) for the 2006 NDHS is a ward, subward, or group of wards in rural areas, and subwards in urban areas. In rural areas, the ward is small enough in size for a complete household listing, but in urban areas the ward is large. It was therefore necessary to subdivide each urban ward into subwards. Information on the subdivision of the urban wards was obtained from the updated Living Standards Measurement Survey. The sampling frame is representative of 96 percent of the noninstitutional population.
The sample for the survey is based on a two-stage, stratified, nationally representative sample of households. At the first stage of sampling, 260 PSUs (82 in urban areas and 178 in rural areas) were selected using systematic sampling with probability proportional to size. A complete household listing operation was then carried out in all the selected PSUs to provide a sampling frame for the second stage selection of households. At the second stage of sampling, systematic samples of about 30 households per PSU on average in urban areas and about 36 households per PSU on average in rural areas were selected in all the regions, in order to provide statistically reliable estimates of key demographic and health variables. However, since Nepal is predominantly rural, in order to obtain statistically reliable estimates for urban areas, it was necessary to oversample the urban areas. As such, the total sample is weighted and a final weighting procedure was applied to provide estimates for the different domains, and for the urban and rural areas of the country as a whole.
The survey was designed to obtain completed interviews of 8,600 women age 15-49. In addition, males age 15-59 in every second household were interviewed. To take nonresponse into account, a total of 9,036 households nationwide were selected.
A total of 9,036 households were selected, of which 8,742 were found to be occupied during data collection. Of these existing households, 8,707 were successfully interviewed, giving a household response rate of nearly 100 percent.
In the selected households, 10,973 women were identified as eligible for the individual interview. Interviews were completed for 10,793 women, yielding a response rate of 98 percent. Of the 4,582 eligible men identified in the selected subsample of households, 4,397 were successfully interviewed, giving a 96 percent response rate. Response rates were higher in rural than urban areas, especially for eligible men.
Dates of Data Collection (YYYY/MM/DD)
Mode of data collection
Type of Research Instrument
Three questionnaires were administered for the 2006 NDHS: the Household Questionnaire, the Women’s Questionnaire, and the Men’s Questionnaire. These questionnaires were adapted to reflect the population and health issues relevant to Nepal at a series of meetings with various stakeholders from government ministries and agencies, NGOs and international donors. The final draft of the questionnaires was discussed at a questionnaire design workshop organized by MOHP in September 2005 in Kathmandu. The survey questionnaires were then translated into the three main local languages—Nepali, Bhojpuri and Maithili and pretested from November 16 to December 13, 2005.
The Household Questionnaire was used to list all the usual members and visitors in the selected households and to identify women and men who were eligible for the individual interview. Some basic information was collected on the characteristics of each person listed, including age, sex, education, and relationship to the head of the household. For children under age 18, the survival status of the parents was determined. The Household Questionnaire also collected information on characteristics of the household’s dwelling unit, such as the source of water, type of toilet facilities, materials used for the floor of the house, ownership of various durable goods, and ownership of mosquito nets. Additionally, the Household Questionnaire was used to record height, weight, and hemoglobin measurements of women age 15-49 and children age 6-59 months. The Women’s Questionnaire was used to collect information from all women age 15-49.
These women were asked questions on the following topics:
- respondent’s characteristics such as education, residential history, media exposure,
- pregnancy history, childhood mortality,
- knowledge and use of family planning methods,
- fertility preferences,
- antenatal, delivery, and postnatal care,
- breastfeeding and infant feeding practices,
- immunization and childhood illnesses,
- marriage and sexual activity,
- woman’s work and husband’s background characteristics,
- awareness and behavior regarding AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and
- maternal mortality.
The Men’s Questionnaire was administered to all men age 15-59 living in every second household in the 2006 NDHS sample. The Men’s Questionnaire collected much of the same information found in the Women’s Questionnaire, but was shorter because it did not contain a detailed reproductive history or questions on maternal and child health or nutrition.
In addition, the Verbal Autopsy Module into the causes of under-five mortality was administered to all women age 15-49 (and anyone else who remembered the circumstances surrounding the reported death) who reported a death or stillbirth in the five years preceding the survey to children under five years of age.
Data Quality Tables
- Household age distribution
- Age distribution of eligible and interviewed women
- Age distribution of eligible and interviewed men
- Completeness of reporting
- Births by calendar years
- Reporting of age at death in days
- Reporting of age at death in months
- Data on siblings
- Indicators on data quality
- Sibship size and sex ratio of siblings
See these tables in APPENDIX D of the Final Report.
Use of the dataset must be acknowledged using a citation which would include:
- the Identification of the Primary Investigator
- the title of the survey (including country, acronym and year of implementation)
- the survey reference number
- the source and date of download
Disclaimer and copyrights
The user of the data acknowledges that the original collector of the data, the authorized distributor of the data, and the relevant funding agency bear no responsibility for use of the data or for interpretations or inferences based upon such uses.