Prevalence of anaemia in non-pregnant women aged 15-49

Anaemia is highly prevalent globally, disproportionately affecting children and women of reproductive age. It negatively affects cognitive and motor development and work capacity, and among pregnant women iron deficiency anaemia is associated with adverse reproductive outcomes, including preterm delivery, low-birth-weight infants, and decreased iron stores for the baby, which may lead to impaired development. Iron deficiency is considered the most common cause of anaemia, but there are other nutritional and non-nutritional causes.


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Headline data

Source: World Health Organisation

Geographical Area: United Kingdom

Unit of Measurement: Percentage (%)

Footnote: Please note the y axis does not go to 100% for ease of visualisation.

This table provides metadata for the actual indicator available from UK statistics closest to the corresponding global SDG indicator. Please note that even when the global SDG indicator is fully available from UK statistics, this table should be consulted for information on national methodology and other UK-specific metadata information.

Indicator available

Prevalence of anaemia in non-pregnant women aged 15-49

Indicator description
Geographical coverage

United Kingdom

Unit of measurement

Percentage (%)


Percentage of women aged 15−49 years with a haemoglobin concentration less than 120 g/L for non-pregnant women and lactating women, adjusted for altitude and smoking. Anaemia can be assessed by measuring blood haemoglobin, and when used in combination with other indicators of iron status, blood haemoglobin provides information about the severity of iron deficiency. The anaemia prevalence for the population is used to classify the public health significance of the problem.

Available disaggregations

Pregnancy status is a required disaggregation, but here we only present the data for non-pregnant women. Pregnancy breakdown can be found from the original data source, but it may not be a reliable representation for the UK (see Other information field for further details).


No calculations were performed because the data is readily available in the required format from the source.

Other information

Data on the prevalence of anaemia and/or mean haemoglobin in women of reproductive age, collected between 1995 and 2019 were obtained from 408 population-representative data sources from 124 countries worldwide. These data were then modelled on a worldwide level and similar countries data were used to create the data for the UK.

Therefore caution should be used when using the data displayed above and when using the data (and additional data) on the WHO database for all women and pregnant women. We have not reported the WHO data for pregnant women in the UK because it is based on a model with minimal UK data, so it is likely not reliable for the national context. You can see these data through the SDG Global Database.

Data follows the UN specification for this indicator. This indicator has not been identified in collaboration with topic experts.

Data last updated 18 March 2022
Metadata last updated 28 March 2022

This table provides information on metadata for SDG indicators as defined by the UN Statistical Commission. Complete global metadata is provided by the UN Statistics Division.

Indicator name

Prevalence of anaemia in women aged 15 to 49 years, by pregnancy status (percentage)

Target name

By 2030, end all forms of malnutrition, including achieving, by 2025, the internationally agreed targets on stunting and wasting in children under 5 years of age, and address the nutritional needs of adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating women and older persons

Global indicator description
UN designated tier

Tier I

UN custodian agency

World Health Organisation (WHO)

Link to UN metadata United Nations Sustainable Development Goals metadata for target 2.2 opens in a new window

World Health Organisation


Every 2-3 years

Earliest available data


Geographical coverage

United Kingdom

Link to data source Prevalence of Anaemia opens in a new window
Release date 19 April 2021
Next release

To be confirmed

Statistical classification

Official international

Contact details

Other information