Future Trends in Contraceptive Prevalence and Method Mix in the Developing World

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Abstract

This study reviews existing methodologies for projecting future trends in contraception, evaluates the validity of the assumptions underlying these projections, proposes methodological improvements, and assesses the prospects for new methods of contraception in the coming decade. Demand for contraception can be expected to continue to rise rapidly for the next few decades as populations continue to grow and fertility declines to approach replacement level. As a result of these trends, the number of contraceptive users in the developing world is expected to rise from 549 to 816 million during the next 25 years, according to the most recent UN projection. An examination of the projection methodology found it to be reasonable. Projecting the future distribution of specific contraceptive methods is more difficult. Method choice is affected by trends in several factors, including access to different methods, user characteristics, and technology. The procedure employed by the Futures Croup to project method mix was found to be less than optimally designed, and a new methodology is, therefore, proposed.

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