The Global Child Malnutrition dashboard generates graphs and charts, using the latest joint estimates for stunting, overweight, wasting, and severe wasting. Prevalence and numbers are presented by different country groupings (UN, SDG, UNICEF, WHO, World Bank income groups published in July 2022, and World Bank regions).
Source: UNICEF/WHO/The World Bank: Joint child malnutrition estimates (JME), 2023 Edition. World Health Organization, 2023.
Global Child Malnutrition Estimates 2023 Edition: Overview
Child malnutrition estimates for the indicators stunting, wasting, overweight and underweight describe the magnitude and patterns of under- and overnutrition. The UNICEF-WHO-WB Joint Child Malnutrition Estimates inter-agency group updates regularly the global and regional estimates in prevalence and numbers for each indicator. The key findings in the 2023 Edition include global and regional trends for all mentioned indicators as well as country-level modeled estimates for stunting and overweight. Country progress assessment towards the 2030 targets is aggregated into regional summaries included in the brochure.
The Joint Child Malnutrition Estimates (JME) released in 2023 reveal insufficient progress to reach the 2025 World Health Assembly (WHA) global nutrition targets and the 2030 Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 targets. Only about one-third of all countries are ‘on track’ to halve the number of children affected by stunting by 2030, and assessment of progress to date has not been possible for about one-quarter of countries. Even fewer countries are expected to achieve the 2030 target of 3 percent prevalence for overweight, with just 1 in 6 countries currently ‘on track’. Furthermore, an assessment of progress towards the wasting target is not possible for nearly half of the countries.
More intensive efforts are required if the world is to achieve the global target of reducing the number of children with stunting to 89 million by 2030. With current progress, the 2030 target will be missed by 39.5 million children, with more than 80 percent of these ‘missed’ children living in Africa.
In 2022, globally, 148.1 million children under the age of 5 years of age were stunted, 45 million were wasted, and 37 million were overweight. Stunting has been declining steadily over the last decade, with 148.1 million, or 22.3 percent of children under age 5 worldwide affected in 2022. Nearly all children affected lived in Asia (52 percent of the global share) and Africa (43 percent of the global share). In 2022, an estimated 6.8 percent of children under 5 were affected by wasting, of which 13.6 million (2.1 percent) were suffering from severe wasting. More than three-quarters of all children with severe wasting live in Asia and another 22 percent live in Africa. Current levels of overweight have persisted for the last two decades in almost every region. There are now 37 million children under 5 living with overweight globally, an increase of nearly 4 million since 2000.
Gaps in the available data in some regions make it challenging to assess progress toward global targets accurately. Regular data collection is therefore critical to monitor and analyze country, regional, and global progress on child malnutrition moving forward.