The Top 5 Countries with the Lowest Abortion Rates (reporting countries only)

  Country Abortion Rate
(per 1000 women)
Total Number of Abortions % Change
1 Nepal 5 33,100 n/c
2 South Africa 6 70,100 n/c
3 Tunisia
7 16,000,
- 6.1%,
+ 1.7%
4 Belgium
8 16,200,
+ 0.2%,
+ 0.6%
5 Netherlands 9 28,800 + 4.0%
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 Special Report
  1. The number of induced abortions declined worldwide between 1995 and 2003, from nearly 46 million to approximately 42 million. About one in five pregnancies worldwide end in abortion. (a.)
  2. Most abortions occur in developing countries - 35 million annually, compared with seven million in developed countries. A disparity that largely reflects the relative population distribution. Of the 33 countries with relatively complete counts, the numbers of legal abortions were greatest in the Russian Federation and the United States—more than one million each in 2003 (a.)
  3. For every 1,000 women of childbearing age (15-44) worldwide, 29 were estimated to have had an induced abortion in 2003, compared with 35 in 1995. (a.)
  4. The lowest abortion rate in the world is in Western Europe (12 per 1,000 women aged 15-44). The rate is 17 in Northern Europe and 21 in Northern America (Canada and the United States of America). Many of the most dramatic declines in abortion incidence between 1996 and 2003 occurred in Eastern Europe, which includes several countries of the former Soviet Union. These countries had some of the highest abortion rates in 1996, and despite significant declines, they continued to have the highest rates in 2003. The average annual decreases in abortion rate ranged from 4% in Hungary to 12% in Bulgaria, which represent net declines of 26% and 58%, respectively. The declines in this region represent a continuation of a trend that began in the early 1990s. (a.)
  5. Legal restrictions on abortion do not affect its incidence. For example, the abortion rate is 29 in Africa, where abortion is illegal in many circumstances in most countries, and it is 28 in Europe, where abortion is generally permitted on broad grounds. The lowest rates in the world are in Western and Northern Europe, where abortion is accessible with few restrictions. (a.)
Top 5 facts sources:
  1. Sedgh, G., Singh, S., Bankole, A. Drescher, J. (2007). "Legal Abortion Worldwide: Incidence and Recent Trends" Retrieved Jan, 2011 from:
Tags: Top 5 Lowest, Abortion Statistics

Sources:  Guttmacher Institute:

List Notes: Data is rate of legal abortion in countries where reporting is relatively complete for the year 2003 (latest & best data available). Abortion rate is abortions per 1,000 women between the ages of 15 - 44. Total number of abortions is rounded to the nearest 100. Percent change is average annual change between the years 1996 and 2003. List was last updated by Top 5 of Anything: Jan 14th, 2011.
Countries with the Lowest Abortion Rates  <small>(reporting countries only)</small>

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