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Description

UNMETNEED (V624) is a constructed variable that reports a woman's need for family planning according to whether she has an unmet need or a met need to space or to limit her future births.

When children are chosen as the unit of analysis, the woman respondent indicates the mother of the child.

The following describes the constructed categories in more detail:

  • Unmet need for spacing includes pregnant women whose pregnancy was mistimed, postpartum amenorrheic women whose last birth was mistimed, and fecund women who are neither pregnant nor postpartum amenorrheic and who are not using any method of family planning and say they want to wait two or more years for their next birth, are undecided about the timing of the next birth, or are undecided whether to have another child.
  • Unmet need for limiting includes pregnant women whose pregnancy was unwanted, postpartum amenorrheic women whose last birth was unwanted, and fecund women who are neither pregnant nor postpartum amenorrheic and who are not using any method of family planning and who want no more children.
  • Met need for spacing includes women who are using some method of family planning and say they want to have another child, are undecided about the timing of the next birth, or are undecided whether to have another child.
  • Met need for limiting includes women who are using family planning and who want no more children.

Note that the specific methods (modern or traditional) are not taken into account here.

Met need describes women who have no need for contraceptive methods, either because they desire a child soon (within the next two years) or because they are menopausal or infecund.

In high contraceptive prevalence countries (Model "A" countries), pregnant and postpartum amenorrheic women whose pregnancy was the result of a contraceptive failure are not included in the category of unmet need, but they are categorized as spacing failures or limiting failures. In low contraceptive prevalence countries (Model "B" countries), no such distinction is made, since information was not collected on contraceptive failure. Infecund women are also excluded from the unmet need categories.

 

The Guide to DHS Statistics provides the following definitions:

Fecundity: A woman is assumed to be fecund unless she declares that she is infecund, had a hysterectomy, or is menopausic. Women who are neither pregnant nor postpartum amenorrheic but who have not menstruated for six or more months, and married women who have not used contraception in the past five years but have not had a birth and are not pregnant, are also considered infecund.
Failure to Space: This includes women who are pregnant (not due to a contraceptive failure) or are less than six months postpartum amenorrheic who say they wanted the current pregnancy later.
Failure to Limit: This includes women who are pregnant (not due to a contraceptive failure) or are less than six months postpartum amenorrheic who say that they did not want another child before they became pregnant.

Excluded from the unmet need category are women who became pregnant while using a method (these women are in need of a better method of contraception).

The infecund or menopausal category on the UNMETNEED (V624) variable contains fewer cases than the EXPOSURE1 variable, because women who are categorized as infecund or menopausal, but are currently using a contraceptive method, are recorded in the two "met need" categories in UNMETNEED.

UNMETNEED (V624) incorporates responses to the following variables:

  • [EXPOSURE1/V623], which reports the woman's exposure to the risk of pregnancy, defined as pregnant, postpartum amenorrheic, menopausal or infecund, and fecund.
  • [ V225], which reports whether a current pregnancy was wanted then, later or not at all (for women who were pregnant at the time of interview).
  • [KIDDESIRE/V605] ,which reports whether the woman wants more children and when she would like them.
  • [FPMETHNOW/V312] which reports the woman's current use of contraception.

For details of this variable and more information generally, visit The DHS Program website to find the latest Guide to DHS Statistics.

Comparability

Along with universe differences, UNMETNEED (V624) differs in the degree of detail provided on the woman's current unmet need status. IPUMS-DHS uses composite coding to preserve this detail while maximizing comparability across samples. For example, all responses in the general category "not at risk of pregnancy" share a common first digit of "5," while a second digit distinguishes specific reasons (e.g., infecund, mesopausal = 51, while never had sex = 53). Analysts using samples with differing degrees of detail may collapse detailed categories into broad categories based on the first digit to achieve comparability across samples.

While the definition of unmet need for limiting and spacing remained the same over time, other categories of need were included and constructed over time, such as "No sex, want to wait." Samples differ in the way women who are not at risk are categorized, as well. See the "Comparability - Standard DHS" section below for an explanation of how not-at-risk women were categorized over time.

UNMETNEED (V624) is constructed from multiple DHS variables. Researchers interested in using this variable should consult EXPOSURE1, KIDDESIRE, and FPMETHNOW for further information on comparability issues.

Comparability - Standard DHS

UNMETNEED (V624) is included in the standard DHS questionnaire for Phase 2 forward. Beginning in Phase 3, two additional categories were created for formerly and never married women. Women who have never had sex are separated into a separate category, as are women who would be categorized as having an unmet need to space or to limit, but who had not had sex in the month before the interview.

Universe

  • Afghanistan 2015: Ever-married women age 15-49.
  • Angola 2015: All women age 15-49.
  • Bangladesh 1994: Ever-married women age 10-49.
  • Bangladesh 1997: Ever-married women age 10-49.
  • Bangladesh 2000: Ever-married women age 10-49.
  • Bangladesh 2004: Ever-married women age 10-49.
  • Bangladesh 2007: Ever-married women age 15-49.
  • Bangladesh 2011: Ever-married women age 12-49 who are currently married.
  • Bangladesh 2014: Ever-married women age 15-49 who are currently married.
  • Benin 1996: All women age 15-49.
  • Benin 2001: All women age 15-49.
  • Benin 2006: All women age 15-49.
  • Benin 2011: All women age 15-49.
  • Benin 2017: All women age 15-49.
  • Burkina Faso 1993: Ever-married women age 15-49 who are currently married.
  • Burkina Faso 1998: All women age 15-49.
  • Burkina Faso 2003: All women age 15-49.
  • Burkina Faso 2010: All women age 15-49.
  • Burundi 2010: All women age 15-49.
  • Burundi 2016: All women age 15-49.
  • Cameroon 1991: Women age 15-49 who are currently married.
  • Cameroon 1998: All women age 15-49.
  • Cameroon 2004: All women age 15-49.
  • Cameroon 2011: All women age 15-49.
  • Chad 1996: All women age 15-49.
  • Chad 2004: All women age 15-49.
  • Chad 2014: All women age 15-49.
  • Congo (Democratic Republic) 2007: All women age 15-49.
  • Congo (Democratic Republic) 2013: All women age 15-49.
  • Cote d'Ivoire 1994: All women age 15-49.
  • Cote d'Ivoire 1998: All women age 15-49.
  • Cote d'Ivoire 2011: All women age 15-49.
  • Egypt 1992: Ever-married women age 15-49 who are currently married.
  • Egypt 1995: Ever-married women age 15-49.
  • Egypt 2000: Ever-married women age 15-49.
  • Egypt 2003: Ever-married women age 15-49.
  • Egypt 2005: Ever-married women age 15-49.
  • Egypt 2008: Ever-married women age 15-49.
  • Egypt 2014: Ever-married women age 15-49.
  • Ethiopia 2000: All women age 15-49.
  • Ethiopia 2005: All women age 15-49.
  • Ethiopia 2011: All women age 15-49.
  • Ethiopia 2016: All women age 15-49.
  • Ghana 1993: Women age 15-49 who are currently married.
  • Ghana 1998: All women age 15-49.
  • Ghana 2003: All women age 15-49.
  • Ghana 2008: All women age 15-49.
  • Ghana 2014: All women age 15-49.
  • Guinea 1999: All women age 15-49.
  • Guinea 2005: All women age 15-49.
  • Guinea 2012: All women age 15-49.
  • Guinea 2018: All women age 15-49.
  • India 1992: Ever-married women age 13-49 who are currently married.
  • India 1998: Ever-married women age 15-49.
  • India 2005: All women age 15-49.
  • India 2015: All women age 15-49.
  • Jordan 1990: Ever-married women age 15-49 who are currently married.
  • Jordan 1997: Ever-married women age 15-49.
  • Jordan 2002: Ever-married women age 15-49.
  • Jordan 2007: Ever-married women age 15-49.
  • Jordan 2009: Ever-married women age 15-49.
  • Jordan 2012: Ever-married women age 15-49.
  • Jordan 2017: Ever-married women age 15-49 who are currently married.
  • Kenya 1993: Women age 15-49 who are currently married.
  • Kenya 1998: All women age 15-49.
  • Kenya 2003: All women age 15-49.
  • Kenya 2008: All women age 15-49.
  • Kenya 2014: Women age 15-49 in households selected for the long questionnaire.
  • Lesotho 2004: All women age 15-49.
  • Lesotho 2009: All women age 15-49.
  • Lesotho 2014: All women age 15-49.
  • Liberia 2007: All women age 15-49.
  • Liberia 2013: All women age 15-49.
  • Madagascar 1992: Women age 15-49 who are currently married.
  • Madagascar 1997: All women age 15-49.
  • Madagascar 2003: All women age 15-49.
  • Madagascar 2008: All women age 15-49.
  • Malawi 1992: Women age 15-49 who are currently married.
  • Malawi 2000: All women age 15-49.
  • Malawi 2004: All women age 15-49.
  • Malawi 2010: All women age 15-49.
  • Malawi 2016: All women age 15-49.
  • Mali 1995: All women age 15-49.
  • Mali 2001: All women age 15-49.
  • Mali 2006: All women age 15-49.
  • Mali 2012: All women age 15-49.
  • Mali 2018: All women age 15-49.
  • Morocco 1992: Women age 15-49 who are currently married.
  • Morocco 2003: All women age 15-49.
  • Mozambique 1997: All women age 15-49.
  • Mozambique 2003: All women age 15-49.
  • Mozambique 2011: All women age 15-49.
  • Myanmar 2015: All women age 15-49.
  • Namibia 1992: Women age 15-49 who are currently married.
  • Namibia 2000: All women age 15-49.
  • Namibia 2006: All women age 15-49.
  • Namibia 2013: All women age 15-49.
  • Nepal 1996: Ever-married women age 15-49 who are currently married.
  • Nepal 2001: Ever-married women age 15-49.
  • Nepal 2006: All women age 15-49.
  • Nepal 2011: All women age 15-49.
  • Nepal 2016: All women age 15-49.
  • Niger 1992: Women age 15-49 who are currently married.
  • Niger 1998: All women age 15-49.
  • Niger 2006: All women age 15-49.
  • Niger 2012: All women age 15-49.
  • Nigeria 1990: Women age 15-49 who are currently married.
  • Nigeria 1999: All women age 10-49.
  • Nigeria 2003: All women age 15-49.
  • Nigeria 2008: All women age 15-49.
  • Nigeria 2013: All women age 15-49.
  • Nigeria 2018: All women age 15-49.
  • Pakistan 1991: Ever-married women age 15-49 who are currently married.
  • Pakistan 2006: Ever-married women age 15-49.
  • Pakistan 2012: Ever-married women age 15-49 who are currently married.
  • Pakistan 2017: Ever-married women age 15-49 who are currently married.
  • Rwanda 1992: Women age 15-49 who are currently married.
  • Rwanda 2000: All women age 15-49.
  • Rwanda 2005: All women age 15-49.
  • Rwanda 2010: All women age 15-49.
  • Rwanda 2014: All women age 15-49.
  • Senegal 1992: Women age 15-49 who are currently married.
  • Senegal 1997: Women age 15-49 who are currently married.
  • Senegal 2005: All women age 15-49.
  • Senegal 2010: All women age 15-49.
  • Senegal 2012: All women age 15-49.
  • Senegal 2014: All women age 15-49.
  • Senegal 2015: All women age 15-49.
  • Senegal 2016: All women age 15-49.
  • Senegal 2017: All women age 15-49.
  • South Africa 1998: All women age 15-49.
  • South Africa 2016: All women age 15-49.
  • Tanzania 1991: Women age 15-49 who are currently married.
  • Tanzania 1996: All women age 15-49.
  • Tanzania 1999: All women age 15-49.
  • Tanzania 2004: All women age 15-49.
  • Tanzania 2010: All women age 15-49.
  • Tanzania 2015: All women age 15-49.
  • Uganda 1995: All women age 15-49.
  • Uganda 2001: All women age 15-49.
  • Uganda 2006: All women age 15-49.
  • Uganda 2011: All women age 15-49.
  • Uganda 2016: All women age 15-49.
  • Yemen 2013: Ever-married women age 15-49 who are currently married.
  • Zambia 1992: Women age 15-49 who are currently married.
  • Zambia 1996: All women age 15-49.
  • Zambia 2001: All women age 15-49.
  • Zambia 2007: All women age 15-49.
  • Zambia 2013: All women age 15-49.
  • Zambia 2018: All women age 15-49.
  • Zimbabwe 1994: All women age 15-49.
  • Zimbabwe 1999: All women age 15-49.
  • Zimbabwe 2005: All women age 15-49.
  • Zimbabwe 2010: All women age 15-49.
  • Zimbabwe 2015: All women age 15-49.
  • Afghanistan: 2015-C, 2015-W, 2015-B, 2015-W
  • Angola: 2015-W, 2015-W, 2015-C, 2015-B
  • Bangladesh: 1994-C, 1994-W, 1994-B, 1994-W, 1997-C, 1997-W, 1997-B, 1997-W, 2000-C, 2000-W, 2000-B, 2000-W, 2004-C, 2004-W, 2004-B, 2004-W, 2007-C, 2007-W, 2007-B, 2007-W, 2011-C, 2011-W, 2011-B, 2011-W, 2014-W, 2014-C, 2014-B, 2014-W
  • Benin: 1996-W, 1996-C, 1996-B, 2001-W, 2001-C, 2001-B, 2006-W, 2006-W, 2006-C, 2006-B, 2011-W, 2011-W, 2011-C, 2011-B, 2017-W, 2017-W, 2017-C, 2017-B
  • Burkina Faso: 1993-W, 1993-C, 1993-B, 1998-W, 1998-C, 1998-B, 2003-W, 2003-W, 2003-C, 2003-B, 2010-W, 2010-W, 2010-C, 2010-B
  • Burundi: 2010-C, 2010-W, 2010-B, 2010-W, 2016-W, 2016-W, 2016-C, 2016-B
  • Cameroon: 1991-W, 1991-C, 1991-B, 1998-W, 1998-C, 1998-B, 2004-W, 2004-C, 2004-B, 2011-W, 2011-C, 2011-B
  • Chad: 1996-W, 1996-B, 1996-C, 2004-W, 2004-B, 2004-C, 2014-W, 2014-C, 2014-B
  • Congo (Democratic Republic): 2007-C, 2007-B, 2007-W, 2013-W, 2013-C, 2013-B
  • Cote d'Ivoire: 1994-W, 1994-C, 1994-B, 1998-W, 1998-C, 1998-B, 2011-W, 2011-C, 2011-B
  • Egypt: 1992-W, 1992-W, 1992-C, 1992-B, 1995-W, 1995-W, 1995-C, 1995-B, 2000-W, 2000-W, 2000-C, 2000-B, 2003-W, 2003-C, 2003-B, 2003-W, 2005-W, 2005-W, 2005-C, 2005-B, 2008-W, 2008-W, 2008-C, 2008-B, 2014-W, 2014-C, 2014-W, 2014-B
  • Ethiopia: 2000-W, 2000-C, 2000-B, 2005-W, 2005-W, 2005-C, 2005-B, 2011-W, 2011-W, 2011-C, 2011-B, 2016-W, 2016-C, 2016-B, 2016-W
  • Ghana: 1993-W, 1993-C, 1993-B, 1998-W, 1998-C, 1998-B, 2003-W, 2003-W, 2003-C, 2003-B, 2008-W, 2008-W, 2008-C, 2008-B, 2014-W, 2014-C, 2014-W, 2014-B
  • Guinea: 1999-W, 1999-C, 1999-B, 2005-W, 2005-W, 2005-C, 2005-B, 2012-W, 2012-C, 2012-B, 2018-C, 2018-B, 2018-W, 2018-W
  • India: 1992-W, 1992-C, 1992-B, 1998-W, 1998-C, 1998-B, 2005-W, 2005-W, 2005-C, 2005-B, 2015-W, 2015-C, 2015-B, 2015-W
  • Jordan: 1990-W, 1990-C, 1990-B, 1990-W, 1997-W, 1997-C, 1997-B, 1997-W, 2002-W, 2002-C, 2002-B, 2002-W, 2007-W, 2007-C, 2007-B, 2007-W, 2009-W, 2009-C, 2009-B, 2009-W, 2012-W, 2012-C, 2012-B, 2012-W, 2017-W, 2017-W, 2017-C, 2017-B
  • Kenya: 1993-W, 1993-C, 1993-B, 1998-W, 1998-W, 1998-C, 1998-B, 2003-W, 2003-W, 2003-C, 2003-B, 2008-W, 2008-W, 2008-C, 2008-B, 2014-W, 2014-C, 2014-W, 2014-B
  • Lesotho: 2004-W, 2004-C, 2004-B, 2009-W, 2009-W, 2009-C, 2009-B, 2014-W, 2014-C, 2014-B, 2014-W
  • Liberia: 2007-W, 2007-C, 2007-B, 2013-W, 2013-C, 2013-W, 2013-B
  • Madagascar: 1992-W, 1992-C, 1992-B, 1997-W, 1997-C, 1997-B, 2003-W, 2003-W, 2003-C, 2003-B, 2008-W, 2008-W, 2008-C, 2008-B
  • Malawi: 1992-W, 1992-C, 1992-B, 2000-W, 2000-W, 2000-C, 2000-B, 2004-W, 2004-W, 2004-C, 2004-B, 2010-W, 2010-W, 2010-C, 2010-B, 2016-W, 2016-C, 2016-B, 2016-W
  • Mali: 1995-W, 1995-C, 1995-B, 2001-W, 2001-W, 2001-C, 2001-B, 2006-W, 2006-W, 2006-C, 2006-B, 2012-W, 2012-W, 2012-C, 2012-B, 2018-C, 2018-B, 2018-W, 2018-W
  • Morocco: 1992-W, 1992-C, 1992-W, 1992-B, 2003-W, 2003-C, 2003-W, 2003-B
  • Mozambique: 1997-W, 1997-C, 1997-B, 2003-W, 2003-W, 2003-C, 2003-B, 2011-W, 2011-W, 2011-C, 2011-B
  • Myanmar: 2015-C, 2015-W, 2015-B, 2015-W
  • Namibia: 1992-W, 1992-C, 1992-B, 2000-W, 2000-C, 2000-B, 2006-W, 2006-W, 2006-C, 2006-B, 2013-W, 2013-W, 2013-C, 2013-B
  • Nepal: 1996-W, 1996-C, 1996-B, 2001-W, 2001-C, 2001-B, 2006-W, 2006-C, 2006-W, 2006-B, 2011-W, 2011-C, 2011-W, 2011-B, 2016-W, 2016-C, 2016-B, 2016-W
  • Niger: 1992-W, 1992-C, 1992-B, 1998-W, 1998-C, 1998-B, 2006-W, 2006-W, 2006-C, 2006-B, 2012-W, 2012-W, 2012-C, 2012-B
  • Nigeria: 1990-W, 1990-C, 1990-B, 1999-W, 1999-C, 1999-B, 2003-W, 2003-C, 2003-B, 2008-W, 2008-W, 2008-C, 2008-B, 2013-W, 2013-W, 2013-C, 2013-B, 2018-C, 2018-B, 2018-W, 2018-W
  • Pakistan: 1991-W, 1991-C, 1991-B, 2006-W, 2006-C, 2006-B, 2012-W, 2012-C, 2012-W, 2012-B, 2017-W, 2017-W, 2017-C, 2017-B
  • Rwanda: 1992-W, 1992-C, 1992-B, 2000-W, 2000-W, 2000-C, 2000-B, 2005-B, 2005-W, 2005-W, 2005-C, 2010-B, 2010-W, 2010-W, 2010-C, 2014-W, 2014-C, 2014-B, 2014-W
  • Senegal: 1992-B, 1992-W, 1992-C, 1997-B, 1997-W, 1997-C, 2005-B, 2005-W, 2005-W, 2005-C, 2010-B, 2010-W, 2010-W, 2010-C, 2012-B, 2012-W, 2012-W, 2012-C, 2014-B, 2014-W, 2014-C, 2014-W, 2015-W, 2015-C, 2015-B, 2015-W, 2016-W, 2016-C, 2016-B, 2016-W, 2017-W, 2017-C, 2017-B, 2017-W
  • South Africa: 1998-B, 1998-W, 1998-C, 2016-W, 2016-W, 2016-C, 2016-B
  • Tanzania: 1991-B, 1991-W, 1991-C, 1996-B, 1996-W, 1996-C, 1999-B, 1999-W, 1999-C, 2004-B, 2004-W, 2004-W, 2004-C, 2010-B, 2010-W, 2010-W, 2010-C, 2015-W, 2015-C, 2015-B, 2015-W
  • Uganda: 1995-B, 1995-W, 1995-C, 2001-B, 2001-W, 2001-W, 2001-C, 2006-B, 2006-W, 2006-W, 2006-C, 2011-B, 2011-W, 2011-W, 2011-C, 2016-W, 2016-C, 2016-B, 2016-W
  • Yemen: 2013-B, 2013-W, 2013-C, 2013-W
  • Zambia: 1992-B, 1992-W, 1992-C, 1996-B, 1996-W, 1996-C, 2001-B, 2001-W, 2001-C, 2007-B, 2007-W, 2007-W, 2007-C, 2013-B, 2013-W, 2013-C, 2013-W, 2018-W, 2018-C, 2018-B, 2018-W
  • Zimbabwe: 1994-B, 1994-W, 1994-W, 1994-C, 1999-B, 1999-W, 1999-W, 1999-C, 2005-B, 2005-W, 2005-W, 2005-C, 2010-B, 2010-W, 2010-W, 2010-C, 2015-W, 2015-C, 2015-B, 2015-W