Percentages of unplanned pregnancies in the world

May 9, 2015

According to a 2009 Guttmacher Institute/WHO Fact Sheet: • Of the estimated 208 million pregnancies that occurred worldwide in 2008, 33 million (16%) resulted in unintended births and 41 million ended in induced abortions. (20%) • Of the 23 million pregnancies that occur in developed countries, more than 40% are unintended, and 28% end in induced abortion. • Of the 185 million pregnancies that occur in developing countries, 40% are unintended, and 19% end in induced abortion. • According to a 2009 report, an estimated 215 million women in the developing world have an unmet need for modern contraceptives, meaning they want to avoid a pregnancy but are using a traditional family planning method or no method. • Some 82% of unintended pregnancies in developing countries occur among women who have an unmet need for modern contraceptives; women using modern contraceptives account for only 18% of unintended pregnancies. • The reasons why women (married and unmarried) do not use contraceptives most commonly include concerns about possible health and side-effects and the belief that they are not at risk of getting pregnant.


Source: Guttmacher Institute, “Facts on induced Abortion Worldwide,” Guttmacher Institute and World Health Organization, October 2009,

"Up to Speed: Two Months, One Page," Sierra Magazine 98, no. 6 (2013), 19.

Please reload