Contraceptive Use in Developing Countries – 2003, 2008 and 2012

Jacqueline E. Darroch, Guttmacher Institute
Susheela D. Singh, Guttmacher Institute

There is a substantial gap between the number of children women are having and the number they want in many subregions of the developing world. Unmet need for effective contraception is an important factor underlying this pattern. Through analysis of national household surveys, we have estimated the proportions and numbers of women of reproductive age across developing countries using modern contraceptives and those wanting to avoid a pregnancy, but with unmet need, for 2003, 2008 and 2012. Between 2003 and 2008, modern method users increased by roughly 20 million per year for all developing countries, compared with preliminary estimates of the 2008-2012 increase at only 10 million per year. However, the magnitude and direction of trends in contraceptive use varied across regions, over these time periods. We identify and discuss regional patterns of change in need for and use of modern methods, and implications for changes in policies and programs.

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Presented in Session 81: Contraceptive Use