About the Data
Description of the data source, numerator, denominator, survey questions, and other relevant details about the national estimate.
Number of intended births among females aged 15 to 44 years
Number of live births plus abortions and fetal losses among females aged 15 to 44 years
From the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth:
Before you became pregnant this time, was the reason you did not use any birth control methods because you, yourself wanted to become pregnant?
At the time you became pregnant, did you, yourself actually want to have a baby at some time?
- Don't know
So would you say you became pregnant too soon, at about the right time, or later than you wanted?
- Too soon
- Right time
- Didn't care
Intended pregnancies include births that were wanted at the time of conception. Births that were wanted at the time of conception are those resulting from pregnancies that happened at the right time, later than wanted, or those answering "didn’t care". All abortions are considered unintended pregnancies.
Baseline estimates of pregnancies that were intended are derived from the following sources: (1) live births to U.S. residents in 2001; (2) the percent of recent births that were intended according to the 2002 NSFG; (3) estimates of total number of abortions for 2001; and (4) estimates of fetal losses from the 2002 NSFG. The total number of abortions for 2001 was obtained by adjusting the total number of abortions reported in a 2000 census of abortion providers for changes in comparable state-by-state abortion reports between 2000 and 2001. Population denominators are obtained from census estimates and from the Current Population Survey.
The total number of unintended pregnancies was estimated by determining the percent of births and fetal losses that followed unintended pregnancies (as reported in the NSFG) and applying those percents to the actual numbers of each pregnancy outcome, and then adding all abortions. The number of unintended pregnancies was divided by the total number of pregnancies to obtain the percent of pregnancies that were unintended.
Additional resources about the objective
- Finer, L. & Henshaw, S. (2005). Estimates of U.S. abortion incidence in 2001 and 2002. New York: The Guttmacher Institute.
- Finer, L. & Henshaw, S. (2006). Disparities in rates of unintended pregnancy in the United States, 1994 and 2001. Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 38 (2), 90-96.