More Information

For a lot of additionalinformation about the benefits of circumcision go to the website of one of foremost and well known medical researchers Prof. Brian Morris

Circumcision Rates

Circumcision Rates in the USA

On the internet it is often quoted that the circumcision rate in the US has fallen to below 50%. However, these statistics are flawed because they only include circumcisions done during hospital stay and don’t include e.g. circumcisions done as an out-patient basis like in a pediatrician’s practice.

A detailed study of the current circumcision practices was done in 2014, which took into account the factors above, and the results have shown that the circumcision rate in the US has fallen, but only by about 6 percentage points overall, to about 79%.

This fall is mainly due to the babies born to new immigrants (mainly from Latin America), where circumcision is not widely known. Amongst the non-immigrant population the circumcision rate has remained more or less constant at over 80%. For an abstract of this paper, see here, for a pdf version, see here.

“The latest data on male circumcision in the United States show a 2.5% overall increase in prevalence in males aged 14 to 59 years between 2000 and 2010. In contrast, there has been a downward trend in neonatal circumcisions, with the present analyses finding that the true extent of this decline is 6 percentage points. Given (1) the wide-ranging protection that neonatal circumcision affords against a diversity of medical conditions, some of which can be fatal; (2) the high benefit to risk ratio; (3) the data on cost-effectiveness; and (4) the affirmative AAP policy in 2012, in our view, it might be an appropriate time for governments, insurers, and the medical profession to act. When considered together with ethical and human rights arguments, neonatal circumcision should logically be strongly supported and encouraged as an important evidence-based intervention akin to childhood vaccination. We predict that states that currently no longer cover elective circumcision under Medicaid will restore provision of this procedure for those unable to afford it, especially because it will lead to considerable short- and long-term savings to government health budgets by reducing more expensive circumcisions for medical need later, where these often involve costly general anesthesia; it will also reduce the cost of treatment of the many foreskin-mediated conditions, infections, and cancers in males and their sexual partners that male circumcision affords varying degrees of protection against. We predict that future CDC surveys will find significant ongoing increases in the prevalence of circumcision in the United States.”

Further References:

Statistical Brief #45: Circumcisions Performed in U.S. Community Hospitals, 2005
Note again that the statistics quoted in this study again only refer to hostpital based circumcisions, and do not include circumcisions done on an outpatient basis in e.g. doctors' practices.

Circumcision Rates in Other Countries


  1. More boys go under knife as parents opt for kind cut
  2. DANIELLE TEUTSCH February 21, 2010

    CIRCUMCISION is making a comeback as a new generation of parents arm themselves with medical research to justify their decision.

    The rate of circumcision for baby boys in NSW rose from 13 per cent in 1999 to 18 per cent last year, according to Medicare figures.

    It's a long way from the 1950s when boys were routinely circumcised but Sydney paediatric surgeon Dr Anthony Dilley predicts the rate will keep rising. This is despite NSW Health banning circumcisions from public hospitals in 2006, except in cases of medical emergency.

    "By the time today's baby boys are in kindergarten, it will be 30 per cent," Dr Dilley said.

    Dr Dilley said parents were asking for circumcision because they thought it would benefit their child - "to look like dad", be more hygienic and reduce risk of disease - rather than for cultural or religious reasons."My own gut feeling is that there are parents who didn't get it done 20 or 30 years ago because they were bullied out of it," Dr Dilley said. "Most parents now don't stand for being told: 'Don't do it.' They will do their own research."

    Proponents of circumcision such as Professor Brian Morris from the University of Sydney school of medical sciences say it is a kind of "surgical vaccine", pointing to studies showing it reduces the incidence of urinary tract infections, sexually transmitted diseases, penile cancer and penile inflammatory disorders, as well as being more hygienic.

    It has also been shown to reduce the incidence of cervical cancer in female partners.

    "At birth it's a very simple, safe procedure that gives immediate benefit through infancy and continues through life," he said.

    The Royal Australian College of Physicians recently softened its opposition towards circumcision. Its 2004 position statement said there was no medical indication for routine neonatal circumcision and that benefits needed to be weighed against a complication rate of 1 to 5 per cent but its interim statement released last year was more nuanced, saying parental choice should be respected.

    The college's paediatric and child health policy committee chairman Professor David Forbes said: "We have stepped back and said: 'Yes, there are ethical issues around circumcision but ultimately we have to have a policy that fits with society's practice and acknowledging parents' role in the decision-making process, while recognising the potential benefits and risks'."

    But the statement recommends parents should wait until their boys are old enough to make their own decision on circumcision - the subject of a petition by pro-circumcision clinicians led by Professor Morris, who say infancy is best for the procedure.

    Royal Australian College of General Practitioners national spokesman Dr Ronald McCoy said he didn't believe there was any reason to circumcise except for a handful of medical indications but agreed the debate was not going away.

    "It certainly is a real issue. Parents want to find out what's best for their kids," Dr McCoy said. General Practice NSW chairman Dr Ken Mackey said circumcision was generally safe but there were still slight risks of infection or deformity of the pen1s. "As always, fully informed consent is important," he said.

  3. Circumcision is back in vogue in Far North Queensland
  4. Daniel Bateman Wednesday, February 24, 2010

    (additional comments added in brackets [...])

    Statistics from Medicare reveal there has been a steady increase in the number of baby boys within Queensland going under the knife in the past five years. [Most evident in Brisbane, Qld, where approx 50% of baby boys get circumcised.]

    The rate of circumcision in young boys within the state has risen by nine per cent since 2005, according to the Medicare figures.

    At Cairns Base Hospital, where medical circumcisions are performed, an average of 21 males a year aged between 1 and 79 have been circumcised since 2007.

    This year, a total of 11 males have been circumcised at the hospital, suggesting an increase during 2010. The rate of circumcision has also risen in New South Wales by about five per cent. [Rising from from 13% to 18% according to medicare statistics, which only record CLAIMS, so are an underestimate]

    Cairns obstetrician Dr Roger Waterfield, who performs circumcisions, said the procedure appeared to be growing in popularity among new parents.

    "It's becoming more popular, and there's a lot of hard medical evidence that it's a good idea," Dr Waterfield said. The Royal Australasian College of Physicians advises patients there is no medical reason to have routine the procedure. [ie, the RACPs 2004 policy debunked on scientific grounds in an extensive peer-reviewed critique article published in ANZ J Publ Hlth in 2006.] The circumcision rate in Australia and New Zealand has fallen considerably in recent years, with the RACP estimating [ie, 'guess-timating'] only 10-20 per cent of male infants are routinely circumcised.

    However, the organisation does acknowledge evidence of possible health benefits from male circumcision, such as preventing urinary tract infections, HIV and later cancer of the pen1s. [The actual list of benefits is far more extensive, and the effects massively more widespread, than this 'cherry picked' few.]

    "One reasonable option is for routine circumcision to be delayed until males are old enough to make an informed choice," the RACP states. [A ridiculous, nonsensical, impractical and dangerous notion, that falls into line with the propaganda of the anticirc movement that knows delay as a trick to ensure that it will rarely happen.]

    "In all cases where parents request a circumcision for their child, the medical attendant is obliged to provide accurate information on the risks and benefits of the procedure."

    Dr Waterfield said patients were circumcised for a number of reasons.

    "It's largely social and cultural, but there is a lot of hard, concrete data indicating it's a good idea," he said.

    Queensland's chief medical officer Dr Jeanette Young said public hospitals performed circumcisions based on medical reasons.

    For the online article, see here.