European Journal of Population

, Volume 32, Issue 4, pp 543–573 | Cite as

Ready, Willing, and Able: Contraceptive Use Patterns Across Europe

  • Rozemarijn Dereuddre
  • Bart Van de Putte
  • Piet Bracke


An “East–West” divide in contraceptive use patterns has been identified across Europe, with Western European countries characterized by the widespread use of modern contraception, and Central and Eastern European countries characterized by a high prevalence of withdrawal, the rhythm method, or abortion. Building on the Ready–Willing–Able framework, this study aims to gain more insight into the micro- and macro-level socioeconomic, cultural, and technological determinants underlying contraceptive use. Data from the Generations and Gender Survey (2004–2011) covering four Western and seven Central and Eastern European countries are used, and multinomial multilevel analyses are performed. Results reveal that individuals who intend to delay parenthood are more likely to use any contraceptive method, whereas holding more traditional values and having a lower socioeconomic status are associated with a higher likelihood of using no or only traditional methods. Regional reproductive rights and gender equality interact in complex ways with these associations. At minimum, our results underline the complexity of the processes underlying the persistent difference in contraceptive use across Europe.


Contraception East–West divide Europe Comparative research 


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rozemarijn Dereuddre
    • 1
  • Bart Van de Putte
    • 1
  • Piet Bracke
    • 1
  1. 1.Health and Demographic Research, Department of SociologyUniversity of GhentGhentBelgium

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