Unmet need for contraception (% of married women ages 15-49)

Definition: Unmet need for contraception is the percentage of fertile, married women of reproductive age who do not want to become pregnant and are not using contraception.

Description: The map below shows how Unmet need for contraception (% of married women ages 15-49) varies by country. The shade of the country corresponds to the magnitude of the indicator. The darker the shade, the higher the value. The country with the highest value in the world is Oman, with a value of 55.90. The country with the lowest value in the world is France, with a value of 1.70.

Source: Household surveys, including Demographic and Health Surveys and Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys. Largely compiled by United Nations Population Division.

See also: Country ranking, Time series comparison

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Statistical Concept and Methodology: Reproductive health is a state of physical and mental well-being in relation to the reproductive system and its functions and processes. Means of achieving reproductive health include education and services during pregnancy and childbirth, safe and effective contraception, and prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases. Complications of pregnancy and childbirth are the leading cause of death and disability among women of reproductive age in developing countries. More couples in developing countries want to limit or postpone childbearing but are not using effective contraception. These couples have an unmet need for contraception. Common reasons are lack of knowledge about contraceptive methods and concerns about possible side effects. This indicator excludes women not exposed to the risk of unintended pregnancy because of menopause, infertility, or postpartum anovulation.

Aggregation method: Weighted average

Periodicity: Annual

General Comments: Relevance to gender indicator: Unmet need for contraception measures the capacity women have in achieving their desired family size and birth spacing. More couples in developing countries want to limit or postpone childbearing but are not using effective contraception. These couples have an unmet need for contraception. Common reasons are lack of knowledge about contraceptive methods and concerns about possible side effects.