Useful statistics and data relating to the current state of abortion in the UK

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

There is much debate raging over the topic of abortion and it can become very heated and sometimes hostile. Although this is a very emotional issue, we need to think carefully and rationally about it – and we can only do this when in possession of the facts.


Total Abortions per year in England and wales [1]


Abortion was legalised, on certain grounds by registered practitioners, by the Abortion Act in 1967. This act also regulates the tax-paid provision of such medical practices through the National Health Service (NHS).

Total abortions 1967–2020, England & Wales [1]



abortions in 2020, England & Wales [1]



Abortions per day on Average, England & Wales 2020

578 per day
Calculated from:


EQUIVALENT to An abortion, on average, every…

2 mins 29 seconds
Calculated from:


funding of abortion – residents of england and Wales 1968–2020 [2]

Graph showing abortion funding sources in England and Wales, 1968 - 2020

Privately funded abortions are decreasing in number over time. The independent sector (receiving funding from the NHS) has increased over time and now represents the major provider of abortions.


Percentage of Pregnancies aborted compared to the number carried to full term (excluding miscarriages), in England & wales 2018 [3] [4]

23.7% or 1 in 4
659,765 (births in England and Wales in 2018), 205,295 (abortions in England and Wales in 2018)
Calculation: 205295 / (659765+ 205295) = 23.7%


Inducing an abortion is one of the most common medical procedures carried out in the UK.


  1. Office for National Statistics:
  2. Funding (section 4.6):
  3. Office for National Statistics:
  4. Section 9:
  5. Further data tables: