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Quick Facts

  • As of 2008, an estimated 41% of all pregnancies in Ethiopia were unintended.
  • Unintended pregnancy is lowest in Somali (9%) and highest in Addis Ababa (72%), where motivation to have small families is strongest.
  • If Ethiopia’s unmet need for modern contraceptive methods was satisfied, maternal mortality would drop by almost one-third from current levels, and unplanned births and unsafe abortions would decline by 89–92%.
  • Investing in contraceptive commodities and services to fulfill all unmet need among women wanting to avoid pregnancy would result in a net annual savings of US$34 million (314 million Ethiopian birr over what would otherwise be spent on medical costs associated with unintended pregnancies and their consequences.
  • Meeting just half of Ethiopia’s unmet need for modern contraceptive methods would result in 754,000 fewer unintended pregnancies each year, leading to 178,000 fewer unsafe abortions and 3,300 fewer maternal deaths
  • More than seven in 10 Ethiopian women who want to avoid pregnancy either do not practice contraception or use a relatively ineffective traditional method.
  • An estimated 235,000 infants die before their first birthday (80 per every 1,000 live births)
  • In Ethiopia, the mortality rate is twice as high among infants born to women without schooling than among those born to women with some secondary schooling
  • An estimated 21,300 Ethiopian women died from pregnancy-related causes in 2008; about 7,300 of these women had not wanted to become pregnant.
  • In Ethiopia, unmet need for any contraceptive method among sexually active women wanting to avoid a pregnancy is 68%.
  • In Ethiopia, the proportion of women with unmet need for modern contraception rises consistently with declining wealth, ranging from 47% in the highest wealth category to 90% in the category.
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