Almost 880 million women worldwide wish to avoid or delay pregnancy, and 74 percent of these women are currently using a modern contraceptive method. Yet, more than 225 million women still have an unmet need for family planning.
When a woman bears children too closely together, too early or too late in life, the health of the mother and baby are at risk. Enabling couples and individuals to determine whether, when and how often to have children is vital to safe motherhood, healthy families and prosperous communities.
As the world's largest family planning bilateral donor, USAID is committed to helping countries meet the family planning and reproductive health needs of their people. USAID supports Family Planning 2020's goal to reach 120 million more women and girls in the world's poorest countries with access to voluntary family planning information, contraceptives, and services by 2020.
Since the launch of USAID's family planning program in 1965, families are better able to feed, clothe, educate and provide healthcare for their children. Moreover, modern contraceptive use in the 27 countries with the largest USAID-supported programs has increased from under 10 percent to 37 percent, and the number of children per family has dropped from more than 6 to 4.5. USAID's work in reproductive health also focuses on ending child marriage, female genital mutilation/cutting, gender-based violence and more.
Follow USAID's work in family planning through an interactive timeline marking some of our major milestones over the past 50 years.
Demand satisfied pertains to the percentage of women who are using modern contraception among all women who want to avoid pregnancy.
Note: Demand satisfied is measured among women of reproductive age (15–49) and is generally measured for women in-union (married or living with a partner) rather than all women due to data availability limitations for women not in-union. USAID has 24 family planning priority countries. Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) data from 22 priority countries are presented here. Of the two remaining priority countries, South Sudan has not conducted a DHS and Afghanistan is in the process of completing its first DHS.
Last updated: December 16, 2016