September 26 marks World Contraception Day.
Africa has the highest unmet need for contraception in the world, defined as the share of sexually active, fertile women who do not have access to contraception but do not want a child at the moment or wish they could have delayed or avoided their most recent pregnancy.
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As Statista's Katharina Buchholz reports, according to a study published in The Lancet, this applies to upwards of 20 percent of sexually active, fertile women in many countries in Western, Eastern and Central Africa, but also in Haiti, Bosnia, Guyana and Suriname.
Upwards of 15 percent of these women are also affected by lack of contraception in parts of Central Asia, the Arab Gulf, the Balkans as well as more countries in the Caribbean and the Pacific.
The study estimates that countries with low socio-demographic index scores showed a gap of more than 19 percent, compared with around 4.5 percent in high SDI and high-middle SDI countries.
Developed North America and Western Europe had even lower gaps at just 2.9-3.5 percent. In Japan, this number was significantly higher at 10.8 percent, while it stood at 6.7 percent in South Korea.
According to The Lancet, 80 percent of all women of reproductive age had their (potential) need for contraception satisfied worldwide in 2019, up from 55 percent in 1970.
This still left around 163 million women with an unmet need.
Young women between the ages of 15 to 19 saw the lowest demand satisfied at just around 65 percent, followed by the age group of 20 to 24-year-olds (72 percent).