Press Release

Global Hunger Index 2017—Fact Sheet

Oct 12, 2017
  • 52 countries rated with “Serious”, “Alarming” or “Extremely Alarming” hunger in 2017
  • 27% decrease in GHI scores across the countries in the Index since 2000

Key Findings and Trends

Scores among the 119 countries in the report varied widely. Scores of 9.9 or lower denote low hunger; scores between 35.0 and 49.9 denote alarming hunger. This year one country hit the threshold of 50, which signifies extremely alarming hunger levels. But, it is impossible to know exactly how severe hunger is in some of the world’s poorest countries that lack data to determine GHI scores.  

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Progress in Reducing Hunger

  • 27% Decrease in GHI scores across countries in the Index since 2000
  • The 2017 GHI aggregate score for all countries in the Index is 21.8, which is still considered “serious” 
  • 14 countries have reduced their GHI scores by 50% or more since 2000
  • 72 countries have reduced their GHI scores by 25%-49.9% since 2000

Persistent High Hunger Scores

  • Despite the progress made, levels of hunger remain “serious”, “alarming” or “extremely alarming” in 52 of the 119 countries with GHI scores. 
  • One country is in the “extremely alarming” category for the first time in last three GHI reports
  • South Asia and Africa South of the Sahara have the highest levels of hunger, at 30.9 and 29.4, respectively
  • 24 countries have populations in which at least one quarter of the population is undernourished

Highest scores in the report

  • Central African Republic – 50.9
  • Chad – 43.5
  • Sierra Leone – 38.5
  • Madagascar – 38.3
  • Zambia – 38.2
  • Yemen – 36.1
  • Sudan – 35.5
  • Liberia – 35.3

Thirteen countries in the report have insufficient data to calculate GHI scores, yet based on the existing data and reliable reports, 9 of these countries have hunger levels that are cause for significant concern including: Burundi, Comoros, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Somalia, South Sudan, Papua New Guinea, Libya, and Syria. 

Regional GHI scores:

  • South Asia: 30.9
  • Africa South of the Sahara: 29.4
  • Near East & North Africa: 12.8
  • East & Southeast Asia: 12.6
  • Latin America & Caribbean: 8.4
  • Eastern Europe & Commonwealth of Independent States: 7.8

Global Hunger Index Background
The 2017 Global Hunger Index (GHI) is calculated for 119 countries for which data are available for four indicators: 

  • the percentage of the population that is undernourished,
  • the percentage of children under age five who suffer from wasting (low weight for height),
  • the percentage of children under age five who suffer from stunting (low height for age), and
  • the percentage of children who die before the age of five (child mortality).

How do you interpret a GHI score?
An increase in a country's GHI score indicates that the hunger situation is worsening, while a decrease in the score indicates improvement in the country's hunger situation. 

Could GHI scores be calculated for all countries?
No, due to missing or unavailable data, GHI scores could not be calculated for all countries.  

More information can be found at: