"Correlation between wealth and height true, but not always" – Research

A new research shows that there is a direct correlation between how tall one would grow and how rich one’s State was when one was born. But the relationship between a State’s income and the height of its residents is growing weaker over time as a result of inequality within States. Faster growing States will not necessarily get healthier and taller at an equally fast rate if their inequality levels are high.

Key observations of the study:

  • On a comparison of the Net State Domestic Product per capita (NSDP) with the height of the population in the State and other health data obtained from two rounds of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) in 1998-99 and 2005-06, it was found that there was a strong relationship between the NSDP for the year preceding the NFHS rounds and the heights of children aged 2 to 3.
  • Growth in NSDP per capita between the two rounds of the NFHS (1998-99 and 2005-6) was however not directly correlated with improvements in stunting.
  • Health improvement is a combined effort of socio-economic development, medical advancement as well as other factors like improvement in health facilities and women’s access.
  • Higher income States have almost the same average levels of inequality as lower income states and there is a strong correlation between income inequality and health problems.



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