• This data sheet also in French and Spanish.

(June 2002) Family Planning Worldwide is a quick-reference data sheet with the most recent statistics on contraception for the countries and regions of the world. It presents survey data for women (either married or in informal unions) who are using traditional or modern methods of contraception; sources of supply of modern methods; and mother’s attitude toward recent births.

Highlights From Family Planning Worldwide

Contraceptive Use Among Married Women, Late 1990s

Source: PRB analysis of data from cited surveys.

Contraceptive use in less developed countries has now risen to a level approaching that of the more developed countries, although rates of use in the less developed countries remain uneven. Surprisingly, rates of sterilization are higher in the less developed countries, while use of traditional methods is reported more often in more developed nations. High levels of traditional contraceptive use in the former Soviet Union and eastern Europe are responsible for much of the difference.

Mother’s Attitude Toward Recent Birth(s), Worldwide, Late 1990s

Note: Estimate based on approximately 60 percent of births worldwide.
Source: PRB analysis of data from cited surveys.

Despite the rise in family planning use evidenced in surveys, more than one-fourth of births worldwide are unplanned.

Contraceptive Use in Less Developed Countries, 1960 to the Late 1990s

Source: Population Reference Bureau and the UN Population Division.

The “reproductive revolution” has been one of the major demographic stories of the latter half of the 20th century. Family planning use has increased dramatically, due to changing aspirations about family size as well as to organized programs that have made modern contraception widely available.