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:

Rank Flag Name Population 2019 Area Area (mi²) % of Earth's Area Growth Rate Region Subregion
1India1,366,417,7543,287,590 km²1,269,010 mi²2.21%1.02%AsiaSouthern Asia
2Indonesia270,625,5681,904,569 km²735,164 mi²1.28%1.10%AsiaSouth-Eastern Asia
3Brazil211,049,5278,515,767 km²3,287,086 mi²5.74%0.75%AmericasSouth America
4Bangladesh163,046,161147,570 km²56,962 mi²< 0.1%1.03%AsiaSouthern Asia
5Mexico127,575,5291,964,375 km²758,249 mi²1.32%1.10%AmericasCentral America
6Ethiopia112,078,7301,104,300 km²426,260 mi²0.74%2.61%AfricaEastern Africa
7Germany83,517,045357,114 km²137,846 mi²0.24%0.47%EuropeWestern Europe
8Turkey83,429,615783,562 km²302,455 mi²0.53%1.32%AsiaWestern Asia
9Italy60,550,075301,336 km²116,316 mi²0.20%-0.13%EuropeSouthern Europe
10Kenya52,573,973580,367 km²224,022 mi²0.39%2.30%AfricaEastern Africa
11Colombia50,339,4431,141,748 km²440,715 mi²0.77%1.37%AmericasSouth America
12Spain46,736,776505,992 km²195,313 mi²0.34%0.09%EuropeSouthern Europe
13Argentina44,780,6772,780,400 km²1,073,234 mi²1.87%0.95%AmericasSouth America
14Poland37,887,768312,679 km²120,694 mi²0.21%-0.09%EuropeEastern Europe
15Peru32,510,4531,285,216 km²496,093 mi²0.87%1.63%AmericasSouth America
16Venezuela28,515,829916,445 km²353,748 mi²0.62%-1.29%AmericasSouth America
17Australia25,203,1987,692,024 km²2,969,121 mi²5.18%1.23%OceaniaAustralia and New Zealand
18Taiwan23,773,87636,193 km²13,970 mi²< 0.1%0.20%AsiaEastern Asia
19Chile18,952,038756,102 km²291,855 mi²0.51%1.19%AmericasSouth America
20Guatemala17,581,472108,889 km²42,031 mi²< 0.1%1.93%AmericasCentral America
21Ecuador17,373,662276,841 km²106,861 mi²0.19%1.69%AmericasSouth America
22Netherlands17,097,13041,850 km²16,154 mi²< 0.1%0.22%EuropeWestern Europe
23Senegal16,296,364196,722 km²75,935 mi²0.13%2.79%AfricaWestern Africa
24Tunisia11,694,719163,610 km²63,153 mi²0.11%1.12%AfricaNorthern Africa
25Belgium11,539,32830,528 km²11,784 mi²< 0.1%0.50%EuropeWestern Europe
26Bolivia11,513,1001,098,581 km²424,052 mi²0.74%1.41%AmericasSouth America
27Cuba11,333,483109,884 km²42,415 mi²< 0.1%-0.04%AmericasCaribbean
28Dominican Republic10,738,95848,671 km²18,787 mi²< 0.1%1.05%AmericasCaribbean
29Czech Republic10,689,20978,865 km²30,442 mi²< 0.1%0.22%EuropeEastern Europe
30Greece10,473,455131,990 km²50,948 mi²< 0.1%-0.46%EuropeSouthern Europe
31Portugal10,226,18792,090 km²35,547 mi²< 0.1%-0.29%EuropeSouthern Europe
32Honduras9,746,117112,492 km²43,422 mi²< 0.1%1.65%AmericasCentral America
33Hungary9,684,67993,028 km²35,909 mi²< 0.1%-0.24%EuropeEastern Europe
34Austria8,955,10283,871 km²32,374 mi²< 0.1%0.72%EuropeWestern Europe
35Switzerland8,591,36541,284 km²15,936 mi²< 0.1%0.77%EuropeWestern Europe
36Israel8,519,37720,770 km²8,017 mi²< 0.1%1.64%AsiaWestern Asia
37Paraguay7,044,636406,752 km²157,006 mi²0.27%1.27%AmericasSouth America
38Bulgaria7,000,119110,879 km²42,799 mi²< 0.1%-0.73%EuropeEastern Europe
39Lebanon6,855,71310,452 km²4,034 mi²< 0.1%-0.05%AsiaWestern Asia
40Nicaragua6,545,502130,373 km²50,324 mi²< 0.1%1.24%AmericasCentral America
41El Salvador6,453,55321,041 km²8,122 mi²< 0.1%0.51%AmericasCentral America
42Kyrgyzstan6,415,850199,951 km²77,181 mi²0.13%1.77%AsiaCentral Asia
43Singapore5,804,337710 km²274 mi²< 0.1%0.81%AsiaSouth-Eastern Asia
44Denmark5,771,87643,094 km²16,634 mi²< 0.1%0.34%EuropeNorthern Europe
45Finland5,532,156338,424 km²130,632 mi²0.23%0.17%EuropeNorthern Europe
46Slovakia5,457,01349,037 km²18,928 mi²< 0.1%0.07%EuropeEastern Europe
47Costa Rica5,047,56151,100 km²19,725 mi²< 0.1%0.96%AmericasCentral America
48New Zealand4,783,063270,467 km²104,400 mi²0.18%0.84%OceaniaAustralia and New Zealand
49Panama4,246,43975,417 km²29,111 mi²< 0.1%1.67%AmericasCentral America
50Eritrea3,497,117117,600 km²45,394 mi²< 0.1%1.28%AfricaEastern Africa
51Uruguay3,461,734181,034 km²69,879 mi²0.12%0.36%AmericasSouth America
52Slovenia2,078,65420,273 km²7,825 mi²< 0.1%0.04%EuropeSouthern Europe
53Guinea Bissau1,920,92236,125 km²13,944 mi²< 0.1%2.49%AfricaWestern Africa
54Latvia1,906,74364,559 km²24,920 mi²< 0.1%-1.13%EuropeNorthern Europe
55Estonia1,325,64845,227 km²17,458 mi²< 0.1%0.21%EuropeNorthern Europe
56Cyprus1,198,5759,251 km²3,571 mi²< 0.1%0.78%EuropeEastern Europe
57Luxembourg615,7292,586 km²998 mi²< 0.1%1.90%EuropeWestern Europe
58Cape Verde549,9354,033 km²1,557 mi²< 0.1%1.13%AfricaWestern Africa
59Malta440,372316 km²122 mi²< 0.1%0.26%EuropeSouthern Europe
60Belize390,35322,966 km²8,865 mi²< 0.1%1.90%AmericasCentral America
61Aruba106,314180 km²69 mi²< 0.1%0.44%AmericasCaribbean
62Niue1,615260 km²100 mi²< 0.1%-0.31%OceaniaPolynesia
63Tokelau1,34012 km²5 mi²< 0.1%1.59%OceaniaPolynesia