Since its independence over 25 years ago, the Government of Turkmenistan has been working to improve the standard of living for its people through social and economic reform and sustainable development. Central to these efforts is a commitment to safeguard the interests of children. But programmes and policies designed to address the issues faced by children and protect their rights require an evidence base. Disaggregated data from sources such as MICS provide the up-to-date information needed to assess the situation and reach the most vulnerable.
The 2015-2016 Turkmenistan MICS is expected to inform initiatives such as Committing to Child Survival: A Promise Renewed (a global movement to end child deaths from preventable causes) and Accountability for the Global Strategy for Women's and Children's Health. The data from the survey will also be used to form a baseline for monitoring progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals and other global commitments such as the World Fit for Children Declaration and Plan of Action, the goals of the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS and the Education for All Declaration.
Data were collected on a wide range of indicators to assess the status of children and women at the national level, for urban and rural areas and for six regions: Ahal, Balkan, Dashoguz, Lebap and Mary velayat and Ashgabat city. A total of 7,618 women were interviewed and questionnaires were completed for 3,765 children, providing critical information on child-related indicators such as age, birth registration, early childhood development, breastfeeding and dietary intake, immunization, care of illness and anthropometry.
Four sets of questionnaires were used in the survey. A household questionnaire was used to collect basic demographic information on all residents of the household. It included modules on education, child labour, child discipline and handwashing among others. A questionnaire for individual women was also administered to all women 15-49 years in each household. An under-five questionnaire was administered to all mothers or caretakers to collect data on all children under 5 living in the household and a questionnaire for immunization records at health facilities was used to record vaccinations for children under 3.
Some key findings from the final report are as listed below:
In Turkmenistan, 3 percent of children under the age of five are underweight and 1 percent are
classified as severely underweight. 12 percent of children are stunted or too short for their age and 4
percent are wasted or too thin for their height. 6 percent of children are overweight or too heavy for
In Turkmenistan, 73 percent of babies are breastfed for the first time within one hour of birth, while
94 percent of newborns start breastfeeding within one day of birth. Approximately 59 percent of
children age less than six months are exclusively breastfed and 81 percent predominantly breastfed.
The percentage of children age 24-35 months who had all the recommended vaccinations by their first
birthday (MMR by their second birthday) is 95 percent.
Early Childhood Care and Education
In Turkmenistan, 43 percent of children age 36-59 months are attending an organised early
childhood education programme. This figure is 70 percent in urban areas, compared to 29 percent in
With the majority (94 percent) of children age 36-59 months, an adult household member engaged
in four or more activities that promote learning and school readiness during the 3 days preceding
In Turkmenistan, the percentage of women age 15-49 years who were married/in union before age
15 is less than 1 percent. 6 percent of women age 20-49 years were married/in union before age 18.
In Turkmenistan, 81 percent of the women age 15-49 years have heard of AIDS. However, the percentage of women who know of both main ways of preventing HIV transmission – having only one faithful uninfected partner and using a condom every time – is only 56 percent.
Access the final report in English, Russian and Turkmen and the datasets on the surveys page of our website.