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Ratio of condom use to contraceptive prevalence. It is expressed as a percentage of all current contraceptive use among married women 15-49 years old.
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.
Contraceptive prevalence is the percentage of women married or in-union aged 15 to 49, who are currently using, or whose sexual partner is using, at least one method of contraception, regardless of the method used.
The condom use ratio indicates the relative importance of the male condom among the various methods employed by in-union women and their partners to prevent pregnancy. This indicator may be useful, when employed in conjunction with related indicators, for understanding the role of male condoms in preventing the transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections within marital unions. Other related indicators include the level of current condom use among married women 15-49 years old (see the data series for indicator 5.3) and condom use at last high-risk sex (indicator 6.2).
Because the numerator of the condom use ratio refers 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, the data may underestimate the overall extent of condom use. Furthermore, because most surveys record 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 be recorded as using those methods even if their sexual partner is also using a male condom. In addition, women tend to report lower levels of condom use as a contraceptive method than men do.
The indicator does not capture condom use outside of marital unions and thus understates the overall use of condoms. Both as a contraceptive method and as means of preventing the transmission of diseases, male condoms tend to be more often used with casual than with regular partners. A more appropriate indicator for monitoring the role of condoms in halting the spread of HIV/AIDS outside of marital unions is to focus on condom use in high risk sex. For more details see information on the metadata for indicator 6.2 Condom use at the last high-risk sex.
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.
Data based on administrative sources instead of representative sample surveys 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, or health, or 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 and condom use are included.
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 more than 170 countries and areas, and for more than 120 countries and areas there are at least two available data points.
Since the questions correspond to current use of contraceptives, the condom use ratio 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.
For reference years with missing data, linear interpolation between the closest data points on both sides of the reference year has been used. In other cases, the closest data point is used. Regional estimates are weighted averages of the country data, using the number of married or in-union women aged 15-49 for the reference year in each country as the weight. Global estimates are weighted averages of the regional estimates, using the number of married or in-union women aged 15-49 in each region as the weight. Regional averages are provided only if recent data are available for at least 50 per cent of the women of reproductive age who are married or in union in the region.
The dataset is updated annually and results are published in the United Nations Population Division’s World Contraceptive Use, which is typically launched every two years in December.