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Abortion Rates By Country

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Global Abortion Rates

Abortion, a complex and often controversial topic, is practiced across the globe within varying legal frameworks, socio-cultural attitudes, and healthcare systems. The number of abortions per 1,000 women of child-bearing age helps us understand the prevalence of abortions across countries, highlighting differences in policies, levels of contraceptive use, and access to family planning services. This article explores abortion rates across the globe, placing a specific emphasis on the United States.

We've gleaned several key findings from the data:

  • Russia, with 53.7 abortions per 1,000 women, has the highest reported rate worldwide. Following Russia is Vietnam, with a rate of 35.2, and Kazakhstan, at 35.0.
  • The United States, by comparison, has an estimated abortion rate of 20.8, ranking 15th on the list. This rate is similar to developed nations like Sweden and Australia, which have rates of 20.2 and 19.7 respectively.
  • Factors influencing abortion rates can be complicated. For example, culturally, religious attitudes can influence women's decisions surrounding abortion. However, a higher abortion rate doesn't necessarily mean that more women are getting abortions—it might also reflect less access to contraceptives and comprehensive family planning resources.
  • At the lower end of the chart, countries such as Portugal and Mexico reported very low rates of less than 1 abortion per 1,000 women, underscoring how widely countries can vary in abortion rates.
  • A surprising finding from the data is that the abortion rates do not always align with economic development or prosperity. Countries with different levels of development can have similar abortion rates, and vice versa.

It is essential to remember that these figures only provide a snapshot, and variation can be due to a myriad of factors, including differences in data collection and reporting methods. Furthermore, these figures might not account for unreported or unsafe procedures, particularly in countries where abortion laws are restrictive. This exploration aims to provide a quantitative lens to a globally significant, multi-faceted issue.

Countries With the Highest Abortion Rates

The top ten countries with the highest abortion rates are Russia, Vietnam, Kazakhstan, Estonia, Belarus, Romania, Ukraine, Latvia, Cuba, and China. Russia has the highest abortion rate in the world, with 53.7 abortions per 1,000 women. Following Russia is Vietnam, with an abortion rate of 35.2 per 1,000 women. Kazakhstan closely follows with an abortion rate of 35.0 per 1,000 women. The abortion rate in Estonia is 33.3 while Belarus has an abortion rate of 31.7. Romania and Ukraine also have high abortion rates, with 27.8 and 27.5 abortions per 1,000 women respectively. Latvia has an abortion rate of 27.3, followed by Cuba with 24.8 and China with 24.2. 

10 Countries with the Highest Abortion Rates per 1,000 Women:

  1. Russia - 53.7
  2. Vietnam - 35.2 
  3. Kazakhstan - 35.0 
  4. Estonia - 33.3 
  5. Belarus - 31.7 
  6. Romania - 27.8 
  7. Ukraine - 27.5 
  8. Latvia - 27.3 
  9. Cuba - 24.8 
  10. China - 24.2 

Countries With Lowest Abortion Rates

The ten countries with the lowest abortion rates per 1,000 women are Mexico, Portugal, Qatar, Austria, India, South Africa, Greece, Croatia, Switzerland, and Belgium. Mexico has the lowest abortion rate, recording an average of 0.1 abortions per 1,000 women. Portugal has the second lowest rate with 0.2 abortions per 1,000 women. 

Qatar has an abortion rate of 1.2 per 1,000 women and Austria is close behind with a rate of 1.3 abortions per 1,000 women. India reports an abortion rate of 3.1 per 1,000 women. South Africa and Greece both have slightly higher rates with 4.5, and 5.0 abortions per 1,000 women respectively. 

Croatia has an abortion rate of 5.7 while Switzerland and Belgium round off our list with rates of 7.3 and 7.5 abortions per 1,000 women respectively. 

The ten countries with the lowest abortion rates per 1,000 women are:

  1. Mexico - 0.1
  2. Portugal - 0.2
  3. Qatar - 1.2
  4. Austria - 1.3
  5. India - 3.1
  6. South Africa - 4.5
  7. Greece - 5.0
  8. Croatia - 5.7
  9. Switzerland - 7.3
  10. Belgium - 7.5

By Country

Full Data Set

To sort the data in the table, click on the column headers.

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Methodology