This reproductive health indicator provides information on the use of abortions by Swiss and foreign women residing in Switzerland. The abortion rate is an important reproductive health indicator. It reflects both social influences and individual decisions, which may vary depending on the country of origin. Lower rates of pregnancy termination are generally associated with better use of family planning services and the use of adequate contraceptive methods.
In 2019, the abortion rate among Swiss women was 4.6‰. This was almost half the rate of women of foreign nationality whose rate was 7.2‰.
Since 2011, abortion rates have fallen by 0.4 point per thousand. In the foreign population, the decline is 3.1 points per thousand, whereas the rate has increased by 0.2 point per thousand for Swiss women. The relative difference between Swiss and foreign women has narrowed: in 2011, the rate among Swiss women was 2.3 times lower than among foreign women, in 2019 it was 1.6 times lower.
The abortion rate among women of foreign nationality is roughly double that of Swiss women, but this ratio varies depending on age. The ratio between abortion rates of foreign and Swiss women is lowest between the ages of 15 and 19 (3.7‰ compared with 2.8‰). It is highest between the ages of 20 and 24: foreign women have the highest observed rate of 11.1‰. This is about two times greater than Swiss women in this age group who have a rate of 6.2‰.
This indicator calculates the number of abortions (elective and for medical reasons) of women living in Switzerland per 1000 women aged 15 to 44 and by age group. The rates by nationality are based on the female population of each canton that records the nationality of women undergoing abortion.