This study analyzed the effects of access to safe drinking water on the nutritional status of children under the age of 59 months in urban and rural areas in Indonesia using the Indonesian Family Life Survey 5. Both piped water and packaged water were considered safe to drink. The descriptive statistics show that children in rural areas typically had insufficient access to safe drinking water and children who consumed safe drinking water had higher short- and long-term nutrition levels. To mitigate selection bias due to the non-random distribution of access to safe drinking water, a matching estimation was used to quantitatively determine the effects of access to safe drinking water on child nutrition. The provision of safe drinking water improved the short- and long-term nutritional status of children in rural areas but had no significant effect to that of children in urban areas. A simulation of this effect on child nutrition shows that in rural areas, improved access to safe drinking water decreases the stunting ratio by 13 percentage points and the wasting ratio by 6.1 percentage points. Additionally, both household income levels and community drinking water prices are important determinants of access to safe drinking water. Therefore, access to safe drinking water is necessary to improve the nutritional status of children in rural Indonesia, and community characteristics contribute to access.
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