What Are The Percentages Of Boys Circumcised In US?

Trying to find accurate, or even consistent, statistics for US circumcisions is a difficult task. Since routine circumcision is not mandatory for health reasons among newborns, and the reasons for circumcision vary widely (cosmetic, social, religious, cultural, personal, and medical reasons), obtaining data can be complicated. Most sources claim that approximately 60-70% of all male births undergo circumcision, which take place almost exclusively in the first week after childbirth. This figure has actually dropped significantly since the mid to late 1960s, when an extremely high 85% of all male newborns underwent the procedure. Recent figures show that over 1.25 million males are circumcised at birth each year in the US- which breaks down to approximately 3,300 per day! Regardless, of all the circumcisions performed in the US each year, almost all of them performed on newborns in a hospital setting (close to 99%), making circumcision an extremely common surgery.

Interestingly enough, circumcision rates actually vary widely when you look at rates on a state to state basis- which makes circumcision a procedure that is greatly influenced by race and even geographical location. Regionally speaking, the rate of male circumcision has decreased in the Northeast and North Central areas, increased in the South and Midwest, and declined in the West. According to recent figures, approximately 65% of newborn males in the Northeast are circumcised, compared to 56% in the South, 75% in the Midwest, and 30% in the West. These changes have no doubt been impacted by changes in the ethnic and immigrant populations of each area, who bring with them traditional views on circumcision (or lack thereof), in addition to having a lower quality of insurance coverage than existing US citizens with superior private insurance. Hispanics, for example, almost never elect circumcision after childbirth, and are most likely responsible for the decline of circumcisions in the West. In addition, there has been an increase in circumcisions among black newborns, which could contribute to the increase in circumcisions as a whole in the South.

Compared to other countries, the United States has the highest rate of newborn circumcisions, with only 24% of boys in the UK, 48% of boys in Canada, and 15% of boys in Australia choosing circumcision at childbirth. Norway, Denmark and Sweden all have extremely low circumcision statistics, and the practice is virtually nonexistent in Asia, South America, Central America, and the majority of Europe.


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