Background: Estimates of births averted were generated frequently in the 1970s to assess family planning program effectiveness. However, such estimates have not been recently available. This paper compares estimates of births averted from several approaches applied to recent national data.
Methodology: Three simple methods for estimating births averted are presented. The first method is based on the relationship between the general fertility rate (GFR) and contraceptive prevalence rate for all women (CPR(AW)). The second is based on the relationship between total fertility rate (TFR) and CPR(AW), while the third method uses Bongaarts’ proximate determinants model.
Results: Estimates of births averted and the percent change in births in the absence of contraception, based on the three methods, are fairly consistent.
Conclusion: The three methods provide reasonable estimates of births averted in the presence or absence of contraceptive use by national populations.