Global Hunger Index

statistical analysis that ranks all countries on levels of access to nutrition

The Global Hunger Index is a measurement to measure the hunger situation in a country. It is a Statistical tool. There are three numbers which are used to calculate the GHI. Each number has the same importance:

  1. The number of people who cannot get their needed energy intake each day, out of the total poulation of the area. This is a percentage.
  2. The number of children, under the age of 5, which are underweight; again taken against the total number of children of that age group.
  3. The child mortality rate.

To get the World Hunger index, the weighted average of the three numbers is taken. This number will be between 0 and 100. Higher numbers are worse. The numbers can be interpreted as follows:

  • Values below 5: there is little concern for a hunger situation
  • 5-9.9: there is a moderate concern for a hunger situation
  • 10-19.9: "serious hunger situation"
  • 20-29.9:"alarming hunger situation"
  • 30 or above: extremely alarming hunger situation

Today, the highest values can be found in Africa south of the Sahara, and in South Asia, with values of 22.1, and 23.0. Even though the numbers may be similar, the source of the problem is different. In Sub-saharan Africa the main problem is high child mortality rates, and a large number of people who cannot meet their energy requirements. In South Asia, the main problem is the high number of malnurished children under the age of five. This may also be a consequence of the fact that women have a poorer education, and baby girls are not fed as well as baby boys.