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Field Detail
Theme Health
Code PH-MH-1.4
MDG code MDG-5.3
Sub-theme Maternal Health
Name Contraceptive prevalence rate (MDG 5.3)
Definition Percentage currently using, or whose sexual partner is using, modern methods of contraception among women of reproductive age (usually aged 15-49) who are married or in union.
Calculation/Formula Women of reproductive age (15-49) who are married or in union and who are currently using modern methods of contraception / Total number of women of reproductive age (15-49) who are married or in union x 100
Unit of Measure %
Range (eg Age) 15-49 years
Assumptions For analytical convenience, contraceptive methods are often classified as either modern or traditional. Modern methods of contraception include female and male sterilization, oral hormonal pills, the intra-uterine device (IUD), the male condom, injectables, the implant (including Norplant), vaginal barrier methods, the female condom and emergency contraception. Traditional methods of contraception include the rhythm (periodic abstinence), withdrawal, lactational amenorrhea method (LAM) and folk methods.
Limitations Common issues relate to the range of contraceptive methods included in surveys and the characteristics (age, sex, marital or union status) of the persons for whom contraceptive prevalence is estimated (base population). This can result in an underestimation of contraceptive prevalence, in particular for non-traditional methods. Sampling variability can also be an issue, especially when contraceptive prevalence is measured for a specific subgroup (according to method, age-group, level of educational attainment, place of residence, etc) or when analysing trends over time.
Purpose/Rationale Contraceptive prevalence rate is an indicator of health, population, development and women's empowerment. It also serves as a proxy measure of access to reproductive health services that are essential for meeting many of the Millennium Development Goals, especially those related to child mortality, maternal health, HIV/AIDS, and gender equality
Policy Linkages National Reproductive Health Policies and Strategies
Preferred Data Sources DHS
Alternative_Data Sources MICS, Contraceptive Prevalence Surveys
Census - HIES - DHS tag DHS
Primary Data Collection System Survey - National Statistics Office
Frequency of Data Collection 5 years
Other agencies countries_ must report to: CHIPS / UNICEF
SPC Responsibility - Data Management PHD
SPC Programme PHD
Numerator Women of reproductive age (15-49) who are married or in union and who are currently using any method of contraception
Denominator Total number of women of reproductive age (15-49) who are married or in union
Factor x 100
Unit %
Other Metadata Link http://mdgs.un.org/unsd/mdg/Metadata.aspx