Publications Summary

Document Type
Further Analysis
Publication Topic(s)
Family Planning
Uganda DHS, 2006
Recommended Citation
Khan, Shane, Sarah E.K. Bradley, Joy Fishel, and Vinod Mishra. 2008. Unmet Need and the Demand for Family Planning in Uganda: Further Analysis of the Uganda Demographic and Health Surveys, 1995-2006. DHS Further Analysis Reports No. 60. Calverton, Maryland, USA: Macro International
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Publication Date
August 2008
Publication ID


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Uganda is the third fastest growing country in the world. Contraceptive use is low, and the unmet need for family planning is high. This study examines unmet need in Uganda from 1995 to 2006 using data from three of the Demographic and Heath Surveys. The study provides levels, trends, and differentials for unmet need; the factors associated with unmet need; reasons for contraceptive nonuse; and the likely impact of reducing unmet need. The results show that unmet need is highest among currently married women, women in rural areas, and women in the Northern region. Unmet need is increasing among currently married women, all sexually active women, and never-married sexually active women. Unmet need for spacing is more prevalent than for limiting. Women with an unmet need for spacing are more likely to lack employment, live in the Northern region, and not receive family planning messages in the media while women with an unmet need for limiting, in contrast, tend to be older and live in rural areas. Total unmet need is associated with higher parity and living in the Northern region. Substantial proportions of women do not use, and do not intend to use, contraception in the future due to the fear of side effects and opposition from the husband or partner. Based on statistical models, modest declines in unmet need and increases in contraceptive prevalence in Uganda can substantially reduce the country’s total fertility rate.


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