How Many Pregnancies Are Unplanned? [2024 Data] – USA & Global Report

Unplanned pregnancies can have significant emotional, financial, and physical impacts on individuals and families. They can result from a variety of factors, such as contraceptive failure, lack of access to birth control, and risky sexual behavior.

Understanding the rates and demographics of unintended pregnancies can help policymakers, healthcare providers, and individuals make informed decisions and take steps to prevent unintended pregnancies.

In this article, we will explore the rates of unwanted pregnancy and its potential causes, as well as the potential consequences.

unplanned pregnancies statistics

Key Unplanned Pregnancy Stats

  • 44% of all pregnancies in New York are unintended (highest in the USA)
  • 26% of all pregnancies in Utah are unintended (lowest in the USA)
  • California of 273,370 unplanned pregnancies per year (highest in the USA)
  • Vermont has 2,570 unintended pregnancies per year (lowest in the USA)
  • The number of unplanned pregnancies in the world is 121 million per year
  • Around half of all pregnancies in the world are unintended
  • Among developed countries, the United States has the highest rate of a unplanned pregnancies at 28.5%.
  • Unplanned pregnancy rates are higher among women whose income is less than the federal poverty level.
  • At 91 per 1000 women, Sub-Saharan Africa had the highest rate of unintended pregnancies.
  • More than 60% of unplanned pregnancies end in abortion.
  • There were 73 million abortions per year from 2015 to 2019.
  • For every 1000 unintended pregnancies, there are 74% resulting in abortion in East and Southeast Asia.
  • Countries restricting abortion have the highest rate of unintended pregnancy.
  • The unplanned pregnancy rate has declined from 79 to 64 per 1000 women globally since 1990.
  • There are 2.6 million unwanted pregnancies per year in the US (for women aged 15-49)
  • 34% of unplanned pregnancies in the United States result in abortion annually.
  • Out of 21 million teen pregnancies (aged 15-19) annually between 2015 and 2019, 50% of them were unwanted in Low and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs).
  • 55% of the unplanned pregnancies among teens end in abortion.
  • Cohabiting women, women between the age of 18 and 24 have higher unintended pregnancy rates.

Defining Pregnancy Desires

The desire for pregnancy refers to a person’s wish or longing to become pregnant and have a child. This desire can be strong and deeply felt, and can be influenced by a variety of factors, including personal and cultural values, relationships, and life circumstances.

It is a very personal experience and can vary greatly from person to person. Some people may feel a strong desire for pregnancy from a young age, while others may discover this desire later in life.

Unintended Pregnancy in the United States

The US has the highest rate of unwanted or unplanned pregnancies among developed countries. How many unwanted pregnancies per year in the us?

As a result, there are millions of unwanted pregnancies each year. There are 2.6 million unplanned pregnancies annually in the US. And the rate doesn’t seem to go down much.

Unintended Pregnancy Rates by State

U.S. StateUnwanted pregnancies (yearly)Unwanted pregnancies % (compared to all pregnancies)% of unwanted pregnancies ending in abortion% of unwanted pregnancies ending in birth
California273,370 38 46 42
New York170,080445731
Florida142,640 41 46 42
New Jersey75,630445929
North Carolina70,120413452
Arizona41,790 37 30 56
Indiana38,570 35 25 60
South Carolina31,420 39 34 52
Nevada21,930 41 42 45
Mississippi19,890 40 23 62
New Mexico11,140343353
Idaho8,530 30 20 65
West Virginia7,940322857
Rhode Island6,370394939
New Hampshire5,270314245
South Dakota4,420291669
North Dakota4,290312264
District of Columbiauuuu

Demographic Differences

Demographic differences refer to the ways in which rates of unplanned pregnancy differ among different groups of people based on factors such as age, race, ethnicity, and socio-economic status.

For example, studies have shown that accidental pregnancy rates are generally higher among younger people, especially those in their teens and early 20s, and among people who are of lower socio-economic status or who have less access to education and contraception.

Unplanned pregnancy rates may also vary among different racial and ethnic groups, with some groups having higher rates than others.

Following are a few unwanted pregnancy statistics:

  • Women having an income less than 200% of the federal poverty level have the highest rate of unplanned pregnancy.
  • Women between the age of 18 and 24 have higher unplanned pregnancy rates.
  • Cohabiting and women of color also have a higher rate of unintended pregnancy.
  • College graduates, women with higher income, white women, and married women have a lower rate of unwanted pregnancy.
  • Women having lower incomes than 100% of the poverty had an unplanned pregnancy rate of 112 per 1000 in 2011.
  • In 2011, women aged between 20 and 24 had the highest unplanned pregnancy rate at 81 per 1000.
  • At 73 per 1000, the women not having any school degree had the highest unplanned pregnancy rate in 2011.

Unplanned Pregnancy by Age

The age of an individual can impact their risk of experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. This can be due to a variety of factors, including contraceptive use, sexual behavior, and access to reproductive healthcare.

Here are some interesting statistics related to unplanned pregnancy by age:

  • Women between the age of 18 and 24 have the highest rates of unintended pregnancy.
  • Women aged 18-24 had 81 per 1000 unintended pregnancy rates in 2011. The highest for any age group.
  • For women aged 18-19 the unintended pregnancy rate reduced by 20% during 2008-11.
  • In 2018, the unplanned pregnancy rate for women aged 15-19 decreased by almost 50% as compared to 2008.
  • For women between 40 and 44 years, the unplanned pregnancy rate is 48%.

Teen Pregnancy Rates

The teen pregnancy rate can be measured per 1,000 women in this age group, and it is used as an indicator of reproductive health and well-being for this population.

In the United States, the teen pregnancy rate has declined significantly in recent decades, thanks in part to improved access to education, contraception, and other reproductive health services.

However, the rate of teen pregnancy in the US is still higher than in many other developed countries, and it remains a public health concern because teenage pregnancies can have negative consequences for both the mother and the child.

Here are some facts and figures related to the Teen pregnancy rates:

  • Teen unplanned pregnancy rates have reduced by 50% over the last decade.
  • For sexually active women aged between 15 and 19, the unplanned pregnancy rates are the highest for any age group.
  • There was a 20% decline in the unintended pregnancy rate for women aged 18-19 during 2008-11.
  • In the same period, the unplanned pregnancy rate for women aged 15-17 declined by 44%.
  • In 2019, in LMICs, there were almost 50% unplanned teen pregnancies out of the 21 million.
  • 55% of teen pregnancies end in abortion.
  • Teen mothers have higher chances of systemic infections, eclampsia, and puerperal endometritis.

Unplanned pregnancies in your 20s

Pregnancy rates among women in their 20s vary depending on a number of factors, including geographical location, socio-economic status, and access to education and reproductive health care.

In general, pregnancy rates are highest among women in their early 20s and decline as women get older.

Following are some unplanned pregnancy statistics for women in their 20s.

  • Women aged 18-24 have the highest unplanned pregnancy rates.
  • Women aged 20-24 had an unintended pregnancy rate of 81 per 1000 in 2011.
  • For women in their 20s, almost 1/3rd of the pregnancies during 2001-08 were unintended.
  • Out of the 1.95 million pregnancies for unmarried women in their 20s during 2001-08, 69% were unplanned.
  • In this period, 73% of the unplanned pregnancies were for women between 20-24 years old.
  • For women between 25 and 29 years, the percentage of unwanted pregnancies was 63.

Unplanned Pregnancies by Ethnicity

Unplanned pregnancies can occur among people of all racial and ethnic backgrounds, but the rates of unplanned pregnancy can vary among different groups.

In the United States, studies have shown that unplanned pregnancy rates are generally higher among certain racial and ethnic minority groups, such as African Americans and Latinx populations, compared to non-Hispanic Whites.

Following are some unplanned pregnancy statistics by ethnicity to show for.

  • Women of color have a higher unplanned pregnancy rate than white women.
  • In 2011, non-Hispanic black women had more than two times the unintended pregnancy rate of non-Hispanic white women (79 vs 33 per 1000 women).
  • 50% of black women wanted to have an abortion after an unplanned pregnancy. The highest rate for other ethnic and racial groups having 36-40% rate.
  • In 2006, non-Latina black and Latina women had twice the unplanned pregnancy rate as compared to non-Latina white women.

Outcomes Of Unintended Pregnancy

Unintended pregnancies can have a range of negative consequences for both the mother and the child.

Here are a few unplanned pregnancy statistics showing the outcomes of unintended pregnancy:

  • In the United States, 34% of unplanned pregnancies ended in abortion during 2015-19.
  • This was a decrease from 2011 when 41% of unintended pregnancies resulted in abortion.
  • 22 per 100 women – The unintended birth rate among women aged 15-49, in 2011.
  • About 73% of unintended pregnancies resulted in abortion in Eastern and Southeast Asia during 2015-19. The highest for any region.
  • Unintended pregnancy can result in low birth weight, psychological or physical abuse, more risk of parental stress and postpartum depression, and a shorter breastfeeding period.

Preventing Unintended Pregnancy

To prevent unintended pregnancies, it is important to use effective contraception consistently and correctly. This can include options such as male and female condoms, oral contraceptives, implants, and long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) like IUDs and hormonal injections.

Access to reproductive healthcare, including family planning services and contraception, can also help reduce the risk of unintended pregnancy.

Having said that, the following are some of the unplanned pregnancy statistics related to prevention.

  • Around 95% of unplanned pregnancies happen to women who either are not using contraception or using it incorrectly or inconsistently.
  • In 2014, publicly funded family planning services helped almost 2 million women avoid unplanned pregnancies.
  • Almost 700,000 abortions and 300,000 miscarriages were saved by family planning services in 2014.
  • $13.6 billion were saved in 2010 due to family planning services saving women from unintended pregnancies nationwide.
  • The usage of LARCs in place of short-acting contraceptive methods can prevent unintended pregnancies notably.
  • Talking with male partners about the issue can also help to avoid it.

Trends in Unintended Pregnancy

Unplanned pregnancy rates can vary over time and among different population groups.

In many developed countries, including the United States, unintended pregnancy rates have declined over time, thanks in part to improvements in access to education, contraception, and reproductive health care.

That’s exactly what the unplanned pregnancy statistics show below.

  • During 2015-19, the unplanned pregnancy rate had declined from 79 to 64 per 1000 women globally, since 1990-94. This resulted in an 18% decrease.
  • The rate of abortion due to unplanned pregnancy has increased from 51% to 61% globally.
  • Europe and Northern America saw the highest change of -47% as the unintended pregnancy per 1000 women decreased from 67 to 35.
  • Eastern & Southeast Asia and Australia & New Zealand had the lowest change in unintended pregnancy rates of –4% and -9%, respectively. Oceania (excluding Australia and New Zealand) also had a –4% change.
  • 72% of unplanned pregnancies resulted in abortion during 2015-19 in Central and South Asia which is a +59% change as compared to 1990-94.
  • The rate of abortion from unplanned pregnancies decreased quite a bit from 69% (1990-94) to 49% (2015-19) in Europe and Northern America. It was a -29% change.

How Many Pregnancies End in Abortion?

The percentage of unintended pregnancies that end in abortion can vary depending on a number of factors, including access to abortion services, cultural and societal attitudes towards abortion, and individual beliefs and values.

Abortion can be a safe and effective way to end an unintended pregnancy, and access to abortion services is an important component of reproductive health care.

Following are statistics for unintended pregnancy abortion rates globally:

  • The abortion rate decreased by 48% in the US from 1990 to 2019.
  • During 2015-2019, 886,000 unintended pregnancies out of almost 2.6 million ended in abortion.
  • Out of 121 million unintended pregnancies annually, 61% resulted in abortion globally
  • There were 73 million abortions every year from 2015 to 2019.
  • About 73% of unintended pregnancies resulted in abortion in Eastern and Southeast Asia during 2015-19. The highest for any region.
  • Central & Southern Asia had the second highest abortion rate from unintended pregnancies at 72%.
  • Northern America had the lowest abortion rate at 34% and it was followed by Sub-Saharan Africa and Africa at 37% and 41% respectively.
  • Europe, Latin America, Oceania, Western Asia & Northern Africa, and Europe & North America had 56%, 47%, 43%, 60%, and 49% abortion rates from unintended pregnancies, respectively.


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