Pregnancy Terminations in Russia According to Official Statisticsl

Sakevich V.I.

Cand. Sci. (Econ.), Senior researcher, Institute of Demography, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia.

Denisov B.P.

Cand. Sci. (Econ.), First Category Engineer, Faculty of Economics, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia.

Nikitina S.Yu.

Cand. Sci. (Econ.), Director, Department of Population and Healthcare Statistics, Rosstat, Moscow, Russia.

DOI: 10.31857/S013216250014958-6
ID of the Article:

The article is based on the research implemented in the framework of the Basic Research Program at the National Research University Higher School of Economics.

For citation:

Sakevich V.I., Denisov B.P., Nikitina S.Yu. Pregnancy Terminations in Russia According to Official Statisticsl. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2021. No 9. P. 42-53


For a long period, Russia was among the world leaders in the prevalence of abortions, which was a serious public health problem. In the post-Soviet years, the induced abortion rates have been steadily declining, and today more than half of Russian women of reproductive age live in regions characterized by a low abortion rate even by European standards. The article describes in detail the evolution of statistical accounting for abortions in Russia. The most recent changes in registration forms for the first time produced a possibility to evaluate the contribution of non-governmental clinics to the total number of abortions and to distinguish between induced and spontaneous abortions, which have completely different causes. On the basis of official state statistics that are not routinely published by Rosstat, we conclude about a significant increase in the effectiveness of birth control in modern Russia. From the main instrument of regulation of the number of children and the timing of their births by families, abortion has turned into an emergency, “firefighting” measure. Analysis of regional differences showed that in some regions located mainly in the north and east of the country, the problem of abortion has not lost its relevance. Every sixth Russian woman of reproductive age live in regions with a relatively high level of induced abortions.

reproductive health; reproductive behavior; birth control; abortion; family planning
Content No 9, 2021