Countries Where Prostitution Is Legal 2019

Prostitution is defined as the act of engaging in sexual activity for pay. Many people have moral objections to prostitution, while countries around the world have outlawed prostitution.

Many view prostitution as a way to exploit or be violent toward women and children. In recent years, human trafficking and sexual slavery around the world has been put in the spotlight. Worldwide, there are an estimated 42 million prostitutes that work in the sex industry. Residents of countries where the practice is banned often go to sex tourism destinations across Central Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. It has been estimated that worldwide revenue from prostitution is over $100 billion annually.

There is evidence that prostitution has been an industry since ancient times, earning it the nickname of “the world’s oldest profession.”

Prostitution laws vary across the world. Some countries, including the United States, outright ban prostitution. Other nations such as France, Canada, Iceland, and Norway do not prohibit the selling of sex but have made it illegal to pay for sexual acts.

In other nations, prostitution is legal. These countries include:

In some nations, local laws are used to regulate, permit, or prohibit prostitution. This includes:

Flag Name Population 2019 Area Growth Rate
India1,366,417,7543,287,590 km²1.02%
Indonesia270,625,5681,904,569 km²1.10%
Brazil211,049,5278,515,767 km²0.75%
Bangladesh163,046,161147,570 km²1.03%
Mexico127,575,5291,964,375 km²1.10%
Ethiopia112,078,7301,104,300 km²2.61%
Germany83,517,045357,114 km²0.47%
Turkey83,429,615783,562 km²1.32%
Italy60,550,075301,336 km²-0.13%
Kenya52,573,973580,367 km²2.30%
Colombia50,339,4431,141,748 km²1.37%
Spain46,736,776505,992 km²0.09%
Argentina44,780,6772,780,400 km²0.95%
Poland37,887,768312,679 km²-0.09%
Peru32,510,4531,285,216 km²1.63%
Venezuela28,515,829916,445 km²-1.29%
Australia25,203,1987,692,024 km²1.23%
Taiwan23,773,87636,193 km²0.20%
Chile18,952,038756,102 km²1.19%
Guatemala17,581,472108,889 km²1.93%
Ecuador17,373,662276,841 km²1.69%
Netherlands17,097,13041,850 km²0.22%
Senegal16,296,364196,722 km²2.79%
Tunisia11,694,719163,610 km²1.12%
Belgium11,539,32830,528 km²0.50%
Bolivia11,513,1001,098,581 km²1.41%
Cuba11,333,483109,884 km²-0.04%
Dominican Republic10,738,95848,671 km²1.05%
Czech Republic10,689,20978,865 km²0.22%
Greece10,473,455131,990 km²-0.46%
Portugal10,226,18792,090 km²-0.29%
Honduras9,746,117112,492 km²1.65%
Hungary9,684,67993,028 km²-0.24%
Austria8,955,10283,871 km²0.72%
Switzerland8,591,36541,284 km²0.77%
Israel8,519,37720,770 km²1.64%
Paraguay7,044,636406,752 km²1.27%
Bulgaria7,000,119110,879 km²-0.73%
Lebanon6,855,71310,452 km²-0.05%
Nicaragua6,545,502130,373 km²1.24%
El Salvador6,453,55321,041 km²0.51%
Kyrgyzstan6,415,850199,951 km²1.77%
Singapore5,804,337710 km²0.81%
Denmark5,771,87643,094 km²0.34%
Finland5,532,156338,424 km²0.17%
Slovakia5,457,01349,037 km²0.07%
Costa Rica5,047,56151,100 km²0.96%
New Zealand4,783,063270,467 km²0.84%
Panama4,246,43975,417 km²1.67%
Eritrea3,497,117117,600 km²1.28%
Uruguay3,461,734181,034 km²0.36%
Slovenia2,078,65420,273 km²0.04%
Guinea Bissau1,920,92236,125 km²2.49%
Latvia1,906,74364,559 km²-1.13%
Estonia1,325,64845,227 km²0.21%
Cyprus1,198,5759,251 km²0.78%
Luxembourg615,7292,586 km²1.90%
Cape Verde549,9354,033 km²1.13%
Malta440,372316 km²0.26%
Belize390,35322,966 km²1.90%
Aruba106,314180 km²0.44%
Niue1,615260 km²-0.31%
Tokelau1,34012 km²1.59%