Trends in Contraceptive Usage: A Comprehensive Data Report

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Contraceptive Usage

Contraceptive methods play a vital role in reproductive health and family planning decisions.

According to the United Nations 2020 report, 921 million women are expected to use a modern contraceptive method.

Its usage trends vary across demographics, influencing global reproductive landscapes.

This report delves into comprehensive data, analyzing contraceptive prevalence rates, method preferences, and regional variations. 

From examining key statistics to exploring factors influencing usage disparities, this report provides an insightful exploration of the dynamic landscape of contraceptive practices.

Key statistics related to contraceptive usage
Here are some important statistics that will highlight the facts about contraceptive usage:

  • Approximately 64% of women of reproductive age (15-49) worldwide use some form of contraception
  • Female sterilization is the most common contraceptive method used worldwide
  • In 2018, there were 72.7 million women of reproductive age (15-49) in the United States. 65% of them were using a contraceptive method
  • Long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs), such as intrauterine devices (IUDs) and implants, are gaining more popularity. They are the most efficient reversible contraceptives, with failure rates greatly less than 1%
  • Contraceptive usage by men stands at 12.5% worldwide
  • As per the United Nations, approximately 12% of married or in-union women were reported to experience an unmet need for family planning

Increase in contraceptive usage prevalence

According to the World Family Planning 2020 report, over the two decades from 2000 to 2020, there was a modest yet discernible rise in the global contraceptive prevalence rate.

What is the contraceptive prevalence rate?

The contraceptive prevalence rate is the percentage of women who are currently using any form of contraception.

It has increased from 47.7% to 49.0%. 

This indicates a gradual but positive shift in the proportion of women aged 15-49 using some form of contraception. 

The marginal increase suggests ongoing efforts to enhance family planning awareness and accessibility worldwide. 

Contraceptive usage difference in developed vs developing vs underdeveloped countries

In the year 2000, global estimates revealed distinctive contraceptive prevalence across varying economic contexts. 

Developed nations had a robust 78% prevalence, indicating widespread adoption of family planning measures. 

Developing countries followed closely with a substantial 65%, reflecting significant progress but still lagging behind developed counterparts. 

Notably, least developed nations reported a modest 32% prevalence, suggesting challenges in access and awareness. 

These disparities underscore the critical need for targeted interventions and resource allocation to increase contraceptive usage in less advantaged regions.

Contraceptive usage difference in urban vs rural areas (in developing nations)

In the context of contraceptive use, urban areas exhibited a notably higher prevalence than their rural counterparts.

A study was conducted in Bangladesh, which showed 69.9% of women in urban settings utilizing contraception compared to 65.5% in rural areas. 

This disparity underscores the influence of geographical factors on reproductive health practices. 

Urban environments may offer improved access to healthcare facilities, education, and family planning resources, contributing to higher contraceptive adoption. 

Conversely, rural areas may face challenges like limited access to healthcare infrastructure, highlighting the need for targeted interventions to bridge the gap in contraceptive prevalence.

Reasons for less contraceptive use

Several factors contribute to the slow rise in contraceptive use.

  • The limited variety of methods constrains choices
  • Access to services is constrained, especially for young, poorer, and unmarried individuals
  • Fear or actual experiences of side effects 
  • Cultural or religious opposition adds additional barriers
  • Biases from both users and providers against specific methods impede progress
  • Gender-based barriers make it difficult for some individuals to access services 

Addressing these issues requires comprehensive strategies to ensure inclusive and effective reproductive health services.

Using contraceptive methods is of utmost importance if you are not planning for a family. Not using contraceptives out of fear or desire may lead to unwanted results.

Use of different types of contraceptive methods

According to the United Nations, out of the 1.9 billion women aged 15-49 globally, 874 million employ modern contraceptive methods for family planning, such as:

  • Hormonal pills (such as Norethindrone)
  • Intrauterine devices
  • Injectables
  • Hormonal implants
  • Male and female condom

Additionally, 92 million women opt for traditional contraceptive methods. 

Yet, there are still 164 million women who want to delay or avoid pregnancy and are not using any contraceptive method.

This data underscores the diversity in choices women make regarding contraception, reflecting a mix of modern and traditional approaches in addressing reproductive health needs on a global scale. 

Most used contraceptives

According to a 2019 study by the United Nations, 23.7% of women using contraception, totaling 219 million individuals, rely on female sterilization.

The male condom, IUD, and the pill follow closely, each surpassing 100 million users worldwide, with 189 million, 159 million, and 151 million users, respectively. 

Who uses more contraceptives, men or women

According to research studies, contraceptive usage is predominantly shouldered by women globally. 

Women commonly rely on a spectrum of options like pills, injections, and intrauterine devices. 

In contrast, male contraceptive methods, including condoms and vasectomy, constitute a smaller share. 

This significant gender disparity highlights the unequal burden of family planning on women.

It underscores the importance of promoting greater male involvement in contraceptive decision-making. 

Achieving a more balanced distribution of responsibility contributes to comprehensive family planning strategies, fostering shared decision-making and reproductive health equity between men and women.

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According to the World Health Organization, over the span of 20 years, from 2000 to 2020, the utilization of modern contraceptive methods by women surged significantly.

The numbers have climbed from 663 million to 851 million. 

Projections indicate an anticipated further increase, with an additional 70 million women expected to adopt modern contraceptive methods by 2030. 

According to a data report by the National Center for Health Statistics, the utilization of contraception varies among men based on marital status. 

Never-married men exhibit the highest usage, with an impressive 89.3%, showcasing a proactive approach to family planning. 

Following closely are formerly married men, with 80.0% adopting contraceptive methods, indicating continued awareness and responsibility. 

Cohabiting men, while still substantial at 70.5%, demonstrate a slightly lower prevalence. 

These statistics highlight the diverse contraceptive practices among different marital statuses, emphasizing the importance of tailored reproductive health education and services. 

From 1990 to 2019; there has been a notable increase in contraceptive use among adolescent women aged 15-19 globally. 

In 1990, an estimated 5.9% of adolescents were utilizing a contraceptive method, a figure that rose to 10.2% by 2019. 

This upward trend reflects a positive shift in awareness and access to contraception among young women.

It indicates a growing emphasis on reproductive health education and family planning initiatives. 

However, more proactive steps are necessary to increase this number significantly.

Over the years, more women in various regions have been using contraception. 

The use of contraceptive methods increased in all regions between 1990 and 2019:

  • Sub-saharan Africa (13% to 29%)
  • Oceania (20% to 28%)
  • Western Asia and Northern Africa (26% to 34%)
  • Central and Southern Asia (30% to 42%)
  • Latin America and the Caribbean (40% to 58%)
  • Northern America and Europe (57% to 58%)
  • Eastern Asia and South-Eastern Asia (51% to 60%)
  • Australia and New Zealand (56% to 58%)


The global contraceptive landscape has experienced significant shifts, with 851 million women utilizing modern methods in 2020. 

This comprehensive data report illuminates trends, revealing a positive trajectory in contraceptive prevalence rates, rising from 47.7% in 2000 to 49.0% in 2020. 

Disparities persist between developed and underdeveloped nations, urban and rural areas, and men and women, underscoring the need for targeted interventions. 

Challenges such as limited method choices, access constraints, and cultural barriers impact usage.

Encouragingly, a surge in contraceptive use among adolescents and diverse regional improvements indicate progress.

Achieving equitable reproductive health requires addressing these challenges with inclusive strategies for informed decision-making and enhanced accessibility.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the general trend for contraception worldwide?

The general trend for contraception worldwide demonstrates a positive shift, with the global contraceptive prevalence rate increasing from 47.7% in 2000 to 49.0% in 2020. This gradual rise reflects ongoing efforts to enhance family planning awareness and accessibility, indicating a positive trajectory in reproductive health practices on a global scale.

What are the most used contraceptive methods in the world?

The most used contraceptive methods globally include female sterilization (23.7% of users), male condoms (19.8%), intrauterine devices (16.6%), and oral contraceptives (15.7%), according to a 2019 United Nations study.

Who uses contraception the most?

Women use contraception the most globally, shouldering the primary responsibility for family planning. They commonly rely on a variety of methods, such as pills, injections, and intrauterine devices.

What are the two most commonly used contraceptives?

The two most commonly used contraceptives globally are female sterilization, with 219 million users, and the male condom, with 189 million users, according to a 2019 United Nations study. These methods showcase widespread acceptance, offering effective options for individuals and couples seeking reliable and accessible forms of family planning.

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