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 2020, the abortion rate among Swiss women was 5.4‰. Among women of foreign nationality, the rate was 8.7‰.
Between 2011 and 2018, abortion rates decreased (-0.4 point per thousand), before increasing again between 2018 and 2020 (+0.4 point per thousand). In the foreign population, the decline is 1.6 points per thousand between 2011 and 2020, whereas the rate has increased by 1.0 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 2020, it was 1.6 times lower.
The abortion rate varies depending on age. The ratio between abortion rates of foreign and Swiss women is lowest between the ages of 35 and 39 (7.8‰ compared with 5.4‰). It is highest between the ages of 20 and 24: foreign women have a rate of 12.1‰ compared with 6.8‰ for Swiss women in this age group.
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 (this is the case for about half of them).