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Map: African countries have lowest levels of contraception use Add to ...

African countries have the lowest levels of contraception use in the world, trailing countries in Europe and the rest of the globe by significant amounts, according to data from the World Health Organization. Chad has the lowest levels of contraception use, with just 2.8 per cent of women or their partners using some form of birth control. This compares with much higher levels in Norway (88.4%) and other non-African countries including Canada (74%).

The information comes from interagency data collected by the WHO and measures the percentage of women aged 15-49, married or in-union, who together use some form of contraception.

Chad bottoms the list along with other African countries: Angola (6.2%), Sudan (7.6%), Eritrea (8%) and Sierra Leone (8.2%). Low contraception use in developing countries can affect women who must care for more babies than they can support while struggling with poverty and disease. Advocates for family planning education and contraception have called the issue a human rights concern. This week, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is co-hosting a summit on family planning in London to address the issue.

Topping the list is Norway (88.4%), with Portugal (86.8%), Malta (85.8%) and China (84.6%) claiming the next highest spots. The U.S. ranks 15th (78.6%) while Canada sits in 24th place (74%).

Click any country to see more information. Some countries are blank because no data exists for that region. Read the accompanying story here.

Prevalence of contraception (%)

Source: The World Health Organization
Interactive by Stuart A. Thompson
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