Majority of couples of child-bearing age worldwide use contraception, UN says

Majority of couples of child-bearing age worldwide use contraception, UN says

Nearly two-thirds of women of child-bearing age in marital or consensual unions use contraception, with the highest percentage found in Latin America and the Caribbean and the lowest in Africa, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) says.

Nearly two-thirds of women of child-bearing age in marital or consensual unions use contraception, with the highest percentage found in Latin America and the Caribbean and the lowest in Africa, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) says.

In a new wall chart called "World Contraceptive Use 2003," DESA's Population Division, assessing family planning practices in 160 countries or areas, says contraception has been increasing steadily over the past decade and 61 per cent of women aged 15 to 49 years worldwide now use contraceptives.

The percentage for the 170 million women in the richer countries is 69 per cent, compared to 59 per cent of 873 million women in developing countries.

The rate for the 117 million women in Africa is 27 per cent, compared to a rate of 71 per cent of the 82 million women in Latin America and the Caribbean, the division says.