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Prostitution statistics by country

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In 2012 it was estimated that there were between 40 and 42 million prostitutes in the world.[1] The list of countries below provides an estimate for the number of people working as prostitutes in each country.

Methodology

There are a number of difficulties involved in collecting meaningful prostitution statistics. For example, the greater visibility of some forms of prostitution, such as street prostitution, makes statistics on these forms easier to collect. However, in some countries street prostitution forms a much smaller part of the sex industry than indoor prostitution. Similarly sex workers with health, addiction and other support needs are more likely to be known to the authorities and hence easier for researchers to contact, but may not be representative of prostitution as a whole. National Ugly Mugs, a support organisation for sex workers in the United Kingdom, has identified several factors making it difficult to collect statistics for the sex industry, including low response rates, the small scale of research compared to the size of the sex industry, and the diversity of the industry. As a result published statistics are often conflicting and contested.[2]

In countries where prostitution is illegal, the use of arrest data to create general prostitution statistics can be misleading. The majority of prostitutes are never arrested, and those who are, can often be charged with other offences instead. Class bias may be introduced into the statistics as a result of police officers being more likely to arrest street prostitutes than high-class call girls. In comparing one area with another there may be differences in the definition of a crime, the police enforcement rate, and the possibility of the inflation of arrest figures or the under-reporting of crime.[3]

Due to the unregulated and often illegal nature of the work, only estimates are available for the number of prostitutes in a country. The numbers for a country can vary considerably dependent on the source. Some countries' numbers may suffer from poor methodology. In other cases, results may be influenced by whether the organisation producing the numbers is for or against the nature of the work. Where available, figures are taken from Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS 2016 "Sex Workers: Size Estimates."

Numbers of prostitutes
Country Number of prostitutes
Source: UNAIDS 2016 - 2018
Sex Workers: Size Estimates
[4][5]
Number of prostitutes
Other sources and year
Population[6] Prevalence
(prostitutes per
10,000 population)
Afghanistan 12,500 (2016) 34,656,032 4
Albania No data 5,000 - 30,000 (2006)[7] 2,926,348 17 - 103
Algeria No data 40,606,052 -
Angola 54,000 (2017) 28,813,463 19
Antigua and Barbuda No data 800 (2014) 100,963 79
Argentina 74,900 (2014) 43,847,430 17
Armenia 9,000 (2018) 2,924,816 30
Australia 20,500 (2012) 20,000 (2017) [8] 24,125,848 8
Austria  No data 30,000 (2013)[9] 8,712,137 34
Azerbaijan 31,900 (2018) 9,725,376 32
Bahamas 3,035 (2016) 391,232 78
Bahrain No data 13,500 (2007)[10] 1,425,171 95
Bangladesh 140,000 (2015) 162,951,560 1
Belarus 22,000 (2016) 9,480,042 23
Belgium No data 26,000 (2015)[11] 11,358,379 23
Benin 28,800 (2017) 10,872,298 26
Bhutan 400 - 500 (2017)[12] 797,765 5 - 6
Bolivia 31,000 (2016) 10,887,882 29
Bosnia and Herzegovina 4,000 (2016) 3,516,816 11
Botswana 4,200 (2016) 2,250,260 19
Brazil 1,400,000 (2013) 207,652,865 26
Bulgaria 10,000 (2016) 7,131,494 14
Burkina Faso 31,000 (2016) 18,646,433 17
Burundi 51,000 (2016) 10,524,117 49
Cambodia 34,000 (2016) 15,762,370 22
Cameroon 70,500 (2018) 23,439,189 47
Canada No data 36,289,822 -
Cape Verde 1,400 (2016) 539,560 26
Central African Republic 782 (2016) 4,594,621 2
Chad 1,200 (2016) 14,452,543 1
Chile No data 17,909,754 -
China No data 2,800,000 - 4,500,000 (2010)[13] 1,403,500,365 14 - 32
Colombia 244,400 (2013) 48,653,419 2
Comoros 200 (2016) 795,601 3
Congo 9,700 (2017) 5,125,821 -
Costa Rica 3,000 (2017) 15,000 (unknown)[14] 4,857,274 31
Croatia No data 21,066 (2006)[15] 4,213,265 50
Cuba 82,500 (2017) 11,475,982 78
Cyprus No data 1,170,125 -
Czech Republic 13,000 (2016) 10,610,947 12
Democratic Republic of the Congo 350,300 (2018) 78,736,153 368
Denmark No data 6,000 (2009)[16] 5,711,870 11
Djibouti 2,900 (2016) 942,333 31
Dominican Republic 97,800 (2015) 10,648,791 56 - 94
East Timor 1,700 (2016) 1,268,671 13
Ecuador 34,400 (2014) 16,385,068 21
Egypt 23,000 (2016) 95,688,681 2
El Salvador 20,000 (2016) 6,344,722 32
Equatorial Guinea 5,800 (2016) 1,221,490 41
Eritrea 1,600 (2016) 4,954,645 3
Estonia 1,000 (2016) 1,312,442 7
Ethiopia 85,000 (2016) 102,403,196 2
Federated States of Micronesia 290 (2016) 104,937 29
Fiji 900 (2014) 898,760 10
Finland No data 4,000 (2009)[16] 5,503,132 7
France No data 30,000 (2018)[17] 64,720,690 5
Gabon 368 (2016) 1,979,786 2
Gambia 3,100 (2016) 2,038,501 15
Georgia 6,500 (2016) 3,925,405 17
Germany No data 300,000 (2009)[16] 81,914,672 37
Ghana 52,000 (2016) 28,206,728 18
Greece No data 10,500 –15,000 (2009)[16] 11,183,716 9 - 13
Guatemala 83,000 (2019) 16,582,469 16
Guinea 8,400 (2016) 12,395,924 7
Guinea-Bissau 3,100 (2016) 1,815,698 17
Guyana 5,300 (2016) 773,303 69
Haiti 70,300 (2015) 10,847,334 65
Honduras 22,800 (2016) 9,112,867 25
Hungary No data 20,000 - 25,000 (2006)[18] 9,753,281 21 - 26
India 657,800 (2016) 1,324,171,354 5
Indonesia 226,800 (2016) 261,115,456 9
Iran 90,000 (2015) 91,500 (2015)[19] 80,277,428 11
Iraq No data 37,202,572 -
Ireland 1,000 (2016) 4,726,078 2
Israel No data 12,000 (2015)[20] 8,191,828 15
Italy No data 60,000 (2009)[16] 59,429,938 10
Ivory Coast 10,900 (2016) 23,695,919 4
Jamaica 18,700 (2014) 2,881,355 66
Japan No data 127,748,513 -
Jordan No data 9,455,802 -
Kazakhstan 19,000 (2016) 17,987,736 11
Kenya 167,900 (2018) 48,461,567 35
Kiribati 114 (2016) 114,395 10
Kuwait No data 4,052,584 -
Kyrgyzstan 7,100 (2016) 5,955,734 12
Laos 13,000 (2016) 6,758,353 19
Latvia No data 29,558 (2006)[15] 1,970,530 150
Lebanon 4,300 (2018) 6,006,668 7
Lesotho 7,500 (2018) 2,203,821 29
Liberia 163,100 (2017) 4,613,823 2
Libya No data 6,293,253 -
Lithuania No data 1,000 – 3,000 (unknown)[21] 2,908,249 3 - 10
Luxembourg No data 300 (2009)[16] 575,747 5
Macedonia 3,600 (2016) 2,081,206 17
Madagascar 191,200 (2018) 24,894,551 68
Malawi 9,300 (2016) 18,091,575 5
Malaysia 21,000 (2016) 31,187,265 7
Maldives No data 1,139 (2013)[22] 427,756 27
Mali 36,000 (2016) 17,994,837 20
Marshall Islands 250 (2016) 53,066 47
Mauritania 315 (2016) 4,301,018 1
Mauritius 6,200 (2016) 1,262,132 49
Mexico 240,000 (2019) 127,540,423 19
Moldova 12,000 (2016) 4,059,608 30
Mongolia 1,300 (2016) 3,027,398 4
Morocco 72,000 (2017) 36,276,786 21
Mozambique 27,300 (2012) 28,829,476 5
Myanmar 66,000 (2016) 52,885,223 13
Namibia 8,100 (2016) 2,479,713 33
Nepal 67,000 (2016) 28,982,771 23
Netherlands 25,000 (2011) 16,987,330 15
New Zealand 3,500 (2018) 5,932 (2005)[23] 4,660,833 13
Nicaragua 14,800 (2017) 6,149,928 29
Niger 47,000 (2016) 20,672,987 23
Nigeria 410,000 (2019) 103,500 (2015) 185,989,640 5
North Korea No data 25,000 (2014)[24] 25,368,620 10
Norway No data 3,000 (2009)[16] 5,254,694 6
Oman No data 4,424,762 -
Pakistan 228,800 (2016) 193,203,476 12
Palestine No data 4,790,705 -
Panama 8,300 (2018) 4,034,119 13
Papua New Guinea No data 8,084,991 -
Paraguay 3,400 (2016) 6,725,308 5
Peru 67,000 (2016) 31,773,839 21
Philippines 210,000 (2019) 103,320,222 15
Poland No data 19,000 (unknown)[14] 38,224,410 5
Portugal  No data 28,000 (2005)[25] 10,371,627 27
Qatar No data 2,569,804 -
Romania No data 158,225 (2006)[15] 19,778,083 80
Russia No data 3,000,000 (2006)[26] 143,964,513 208
Rwanda 12,000 (2016) 11,917,508 10
Samoa 400 (2016) 195,125 21
São Tomé and Príncipe 89 (2016) 199,910 5
Saudi Arabia No data 32,275,687 -
Senegal 21,000 (2016) 15,411,614 14
Serbia 3,900 (2016) 8,820,083 4
Seychelles 586 (2016) 94,228 62
Sierra Leone 240,000 (2013) 7,396,190 325
Singapore No data 5,622,455 -
Slovakia  No data 21,777 (2006)[15] 5,444,218 40
Slovenia No data 29,090 (2006)[15] 2,077,862 140
Somalia 11,000 (2016) 14,317,996 7
South Africa 24,000 (2018) 56,015,473 4
South Korea No data 50,791,919 -
South Sudan 5,000 (2016) 12,230,730 4
Spain 70,300 (2016) 46,347,576 15
Sri Lanka 14,000 (2016) 20,798,492 7
Sudan 212,500 (2016) 39,578,828 53
Suriname 2,200 (2016) 558,368 39
Swaziland 4,000 (2016) 1,343,098 30
Sweden No data 2,500 (2009)[16] 9,837,533 3
Switzerland 20,000 (2011) 8,401,739 24
Syria 25,000 (2011) 18,430,453 14
Taiwan No data 100,000 (2011)[27] 23,556,706 43
Tajikistan 14,000 (2016) 8,734,951 16
Tanzania 160,000 (2016) 55,572,201 29
Thailand 144,000 (2016) 68,863,514 20
Togo 10,000 (2016) 7,606,374 13
Tonga 1,000 (2016) 107,122 93
Tunisia 25,000 (2011) 11,403,248 22
Turkey No data 100,000+ (2016)[28] 79,512,426 13+
Turkmenistan No data 5,663 (2006)[15] 5,662,544 10
Tuvalu 10 (2016) 11,097 9
Trinidad and Tobago 1000 (2016) 1,353,895 7.3
Uganda 130,000 (2019) 41,487,965 -
Ukraine 86,600 (2016) 44,438,625 18
United Arab Emirates No data 30,000 (unknown)[14] 9,269,612 32
United Kingdom No data 72,800 (2016)[29] 65,788,574 11
United States  No data 1,000,000 (2010)[30] 322,179,605 31
Uruguay 8,200 (2016) 3,444,006 24
Uzbekistan 22,000 (2016) 31,446,795 7
Vanuatu 2,000 (2016) 270,402 74
Venezuela No data 473,523 (2006)[15] 31,568,179 150
Vietnam 86,000 (2019) 94,569,072 7
Yemen 54,000 (2016) 27,584,213 20
Zambia 9,300 (2016) 16,591,390 6
Zimbabwe No data 12,383 (2013)[31] 16,150,362 8

References

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