Chief, Fertility and Family Planning Section, Population Division, DESA
Two UN Plaza, Room DC2-1988, New York, NY 10017
Senior Monitoring and Evaluation Adviser
United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
Postal Address:605 Third Avenue, New York NY 10158 USA
Telephone: +1 212 297 5281
Fax: +1 212 297 4915
Contraceptive prevalence, condom use is the percentage of women married or in-union aged 15 to 49, whose sexual partner is currently using a male condom for contraceptive purposes.
For further reference see:
United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2015).World Contraceptive Use 2015 (POP/DB/CP/Rev2015) (http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/population/publications/dataset/contraception/wcu2015.shtml)
World Health Organization (2006). Reproductive Health Indicators: Guidelines for their Generation, Interpretation and Analysis for Global Monitoring. Geneva: World Health Organization (http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2006/924156315X_eng.pdf)
MEASURE DHS (2006). Guide to DHS Statistics, Demographic and Health Surveys Methodology under “Current Use of Contraceptive Methods” (http://dhsprogram.com/publications/publication-dhsg1-dhs-questionnaires-and-manuals.cfm).)
Contraceptive prevalence, condom use is generally estimated from nationally representative sample survey data. Differences in the survey design and implementation, as well as differences in the way survey questionnaires are formulated and administered can affect the comparability of the data. The most common differences relate to the characteristics (age, sex, marital or union status) of the persons for whom condom use is estimated (base population). The time frame used to assess condom use can also vary. In most surveys the concept of “current use” is not clearly defined.
When data on condom use among the sexual partners of married or in-union women aged 15 to 49 are not available, information on condom use for the next most comparable group of persons is reported. When information on current use is not available, data on condom use at last sexual intercourse or during the previous year are used. Footnotes are employed to indicate any differences between the data presented and the standard definition of condom use.
The way information on various contraceptive methods is gathered can result in an underestimation of condom use. Because most surveys report only the most effective contraceptive method currently used, women who are simultaneously using other more effective contraceptive methods such as implants, IUDs, or female sterilization will not record whether their sexual partner is also using a male condom. It should be noted that the data presented in this dataset refer to condom use “for contraceptive purposes” and not as a means of preventing the transmission of diseases such as HIV or other sexually transmitted infections. Again this may point to an underestimation of the overall extent of condom use, since, even among married or in union couples, male condoms tend to be more widely used as a protection against disease than as a contraceptive method.
Sampling variability can be an issue, especially when condom use is measured for a specific subgroup (age-group, level of educational attainment, place of residence, etc.) or when analyzing trends over time.
In principle, there is no discrepancy between global and national figures as national data are not modified except in the case of known errata in the reported figures.
In some cases, countries use estimates of condom use for national monitoring based on administrative sources instead of representative sample surveys. Those figures are not used for global monitoring since they are known to be of difficult comparability.
Data are produced by the United Nations Population Division using data from nationally representative surveys including the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS), the Fertility and Family Surveys (FFS), the CDC-assisted Reproductive Health Surveys (RHS), the Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS) and national family planning, health, household, or socio-economic surveys. Survey data from sources other than the National Statistical system are included when other data are not available.
The data are taken from published survey reports or, in exceptional cases, other published analytic reports. If clarification is needed, contact is made with the survey sponsors or authoring organization, which occasionally may supply corrected or adjusted estimates in response.
In general, all nationally representative surveys with comparable questions on current contraceptive prevalence, condom use are included.
For information on the source of each data point, see United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2015). 2015 Update for the MDG Database: Contraceptive Prevalence (POP/DB/CP/A/MDG2015) (http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/population/publications/dataset/fertility/data/2015_Update_MDG(5.3)_CP.xlsx)
There is no attempt to provide estimates when country data are not available, except for the estimation of regional and global averages.
Data are available for 183 countries and areas, and for 700 data points. For more than 156 countries and areas there are at least two available data points.
Since the questions correspond to current use of contraceptives, contraceptive prevalence is measured at the time of interview. There is a lag, generally between one and four years, between the date of interview and the diffusion of the survey report. In cases where the interviews are held in two different years, the latest year is given as the reference year. On average, the surveys are undertaken every three to five years.
The dataset is updated annually by the United Nations Population Division.
The dataset is updated annually and results are published in the United Nations Population Division’s World Contraceptive Use.