U.S. Abortion Statistics By Year (1973-Current)

Pregnant woman with ultrasound scan

National Right to Life Committee, 2022

THE CONSEQUENCES OF ROE V. WADE

TOTAL ABORTIONS SINCE 1973:
63,459,781

Based on numbers reported by the Guttmacher Institute 1973-2020,  with 3 percent added for GI estimated possible 3-5 percent undercount for 1973-2014. Another 12,000 per year added for 2015-2020 for abortions from “providers” GI says it may have missed in 2015-2017 counts. [1/22]

Reported Annual Abortions

There are two basic courses on abortion incidence in the United States:

  • The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) publishes yearly, but relies on voluntary reports from state health departments (and New York City, Washington, D.C.). It has been missing data from California, New Hampshire, and at least one other state since 1998.
  • The Guttmacher Institute (GI) contacts abortion clinics directly for data but does not survey every year.
  • Because it surveys clinics directly and includes data from all 50 states, most researchers believe Guttmacher’s numbers to be more reliable, though Guttmacher still believes it may miss some abortions.

Both the CDC and Guttmacher showed significant recent drops and sustained drops over the previous 25 years. However, data released in June 2022 by GI showed the end of a long-term decline. According to Guttmacher, since its last report issued in 2017, abortions in the United States increased by nearly 8 percent (7.87 percent), with 1 in 5 pregnancies ending in abortion. In 2020, 930,160 abortions were committed nationally (an increase of 67,840 over the 862,320 abortions reported in 2017).

KEY TAKEAWAYS: 

  • Abortions in 2020 (830,160) increased by nearly 8 percent from 2017 — an increase of 67,840 lives lost.
  • The abortion rate for 2020 reported by GI climbed 7 percent (to 14.4 abortions for every 1,000 women of reproductive age 15-44) from 13.5 abortions in 2017.
  • The abortion ratio (the number of abortions per 100 pregnancies) increased by nearly 12 percent (11.95 percent, from 18.4 percent in 2017 to 20.6 percent in 2020. 
  • The abortion increase was accompanied by a 6 percent decline in births between 2017 and 2020.

Despite increased abortion incidences, 2020 abortions remain lower than past years:

  • Total abortions fell below 1 million for the first time in 2013 and have continued downward to 930,160 in the most recent figures by GI for 2020.
  • Current abortion numbers are 12 percent less than the 1,058,490 abortions reported in 2011 and 42 percent less than the 1,608,600 abortions committed in 1990.
  • The abortion rate dropped by 15 percent since 2011 (16.9 to 14.4 in 2020) and by nearly 48 percent from the 27.5 abortion rate reported in 1990 (27.4).
  • Between 1980 and 2020, the U.S. abortion rate has dropped by over 50 percent (29.3 to 14.4).
  • According to preliminary data released by Guttmacher in February 2020, 54 percent of all U.S. abortions in 2020 were committed using the abortion pill (from 9.8 percent in 2004 and 43.7 percent in 2019).

Reported Annual Abortions – 1973-2021

 

YEAR GI CDC
1973 744,610 615,831
1974 898,570 763,476
1975 1,034,170 854,853
1976 1,179,300 988,267
1977 1,316,700 1,079,430
1978 1,409,600 1,157,776
1979 1,497,670 1,251,921
1980 1,553,890 1,297,606
1981 1,577,340 1,300,760
1982 1,573,920 1,303,980
1983 1,575,000 1,268,987
1984 1,577,180 1,333,521
1985 1,588,550 1,328,570
1986 1,574,000 1,328,112
1987 1,559,110 1,353,671
1988 1,590,750 1,371,285
1989 1,566,900 1,396,658
1990 1,608,600 1,429,247
1991 1,556,510 1,388,937
1992 1,528,930 1,359,146
1993 1,495,000 1,330,414
1994 1,423,000 1,267,415
1995 1,359,400 1,210,883
1996 1,360,160 1,225,937
1997 1,335,000 1,186,039
1998 1,319,000   884,273 *
1999 1,314,800   861,789 *
2000 1,312,990   857,475 *
2001 1,291,000   853,485 *
2002 1,269,000   854,122 *
2003 1,250,000   848,163 *
2004 1,222,100   839,226 *
2005 1,206,200   820,151 *
2006 1,242,200   846,181 *
2007 1,209,640   827,609 *
2008 1,212,350   825,564 *
2009 1,151,600   789,116 *
2010 1,102,670   765,651 *
2011 1,058,490   730,322 *
2012 1,011,000   699,202 *
2013    958,700   664,435 *
2014    926,190   652,639 *
2015    899,500   638,169 *
2016    874,100   623,471 *
2017    862,320   612,719 *
2018    871,806 **   619,591 *
2019    916,460   629,898 *
2020    930,160   629,898 *
2021    No information to date   629,898 *

* Excludes NH, CA, and at least one other state
** NRLC projection for calculation

Updated: June 2022


National Right to Life — Abortion Statistics: United States Data and Trends, January 2022

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Comments

  1. Sheila Puraell : January 17, 2019 at 3:21 pm

    Trying to find abortion stats for 2016, 2017 and 2018

  2. This іs a nice rеview! Certainly a must-reaԁ and an eye-opener!

    It jᥙst hеlped me thanks so much.

  3. Precious J. Blowers : March 10, 2022 at 4:19 pm

    How many babies have been aborted approximately per year in the United States?

    • Christian Life Resources : March 10, 2022 at 5:49 pm

      From the information above: Total abortions fell below 1 million for the first time in 2013 and have continued downward to 862,320 in the most recent figures for 2017.

  4. Scott Bishop : June 25, 2022 at 2:04 pm

    Is the chart shown on this page an original compilation by Christian Life Resources, or is there a link to the data from the Guttmacher Institute and the CDC? I would like to be able to provide a citation to people I interact with that defend abortion. Thank you.

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