The Global Hunger Index (GHI) is a tool designed to comprehensively measure and track hunger globally, regionally, and by country. Each year, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) calculates GHI scores in order to assess progress, or the lack thereof, in decreasing hunger. The GHI is designed to raise awareness and understanding of regional and country differences in the struggle against hunger.
Since 2015, GHI scores have been calculated using a revised and improved formula. The revision replaces child underweight, previously the sole indicator of child undernutrition, with two indicators of child undernutrition—child wasting and child stunting—which are equally weighted in the GHI calculation. The revised formula also standardizes each of the component indicators to balance their contribution to the overall index and to changes in the GHI scores over time.
The 2016 GHI has been calculated for 118 countries for which data on the four component indicators are available and where measuring hunger is considered most relevant. GHI scores are not calculated for some higher income countries where the prevalence of hunger is very low. The GHI is only as current as the data for its four component indicators.
This year's GHI reflects the most recent available country-level data and projections available between 2011 and 2016. It therefore reflects the hunger levels during this period rather than solely capturing conditions in 2016. The 1992, 2000, 2008, and 2016 GHI scores reflect the latest revised data for the four component indicators of the GHI. Where original source data were not available, the estimates of the GHI component indicators were based on the most recent data available.
The four component indicators used to calculate the GHI scores draw upon data from the following sources:
1. Undernourishment: Updated data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) were used for the 1992, 2000, 2008, and 2016 GHI scores. Undernourishment data and projections for the 2016 GHI are for 2014-2016.
2. Child wasting and stunting: The child undernutrition indicators of the GHI—child wasting and child stunting—include data from the joint database of United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the World Bank, and additional data from WHO's continuously updated Global Database on Child Growth and Malnutrition; the most recent Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) and Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) reports; and statistical tables from UNICEF. For the 2016 GHI, data on child wasting and child stunting are for the latest year for which data are available in the period 2011-2015.
3. Child mortality: Updated data from the UN Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation were used for the 1992, 2000, 2008, and 2016 GHI scores. For the 2016 GHI, data on child mortality are from 2015.