NEW STUDY FINDS THAT 40% OF PREGNANCIES WORLDWIDE ARE UNINTENDED
Findings Highlight Need for Increased Investment in Contraceptive Services
Of the 213 million pregnancies that occurred worldwide in 2012, 40%-about 85 million-were unintended, about the same proportion as in 2008, when 42% of all pregnancies globally were unintended. The new study, “Intended and Unintended Pregnancies Worldwide in 2012 and Recent Trends,” by Gilda Sedgh et al. of the Guttmacher Institute, found that the proportion of pregnancies that are unintended varied considerably by region. The highest proportions were in Latin America and the Caribbean (56%) and North America (51%), and the lowest were in Africa (35%), Oceania (37%) and Asia (38%); Europe’s proportion was the closest to the global average (45%).
In addition to documenting the proportions of pregnancies that are unintended across regions, the study examined recent trends in unintended pregnancy rates per 1,000 women of reproductive age. The researchers found that the average annual decline in the global unintended pregnancy rate between 2008 and 2012 was very small, compared with the average annual decline between 1995 and 2008. In 2012, there were 53 unintended pregnancies per 1,000 women aged 15-44, compared with 57 in 2008.
Overall, between 2008 and 2012, the unintended pregnancy rate remained steady in developed regions-44, on average-but it remained higher than average in North America (51). In less developed regions, it declined from 59 to 54; most of this decline resulted from declines in the Latin American and Caribbean region (76 to 68) and in Africa (86 to 80). There was less of a decline in Asia, where the rate (46) was more comparable to that in Europe (43) and in Oceania (43).
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