Countries Where Prostitution Is Legal

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 Area Population 2018 Growth Rate
Bangladesh147,570 km²166,368,1491.03%
Germany357,114 km²82,293,4570.22%
Turkey783,562 km²81,916,8711.45%
Colombia1,141,748 km²49,464,6830.81%
Peru1,285,216 km²32,551,8151.20%
Venezuela916,445 km²32,381,2211.26%
Australia7,692,024 km²24,772,2471.32%
Taiwan36,193 km²23,694,0890.29%
Chile756,102 km²18,197,2090.79%
Netherlands41,850 km²17,084,4590.28%
Ecuador276,841 km²16,863,4251.44%
Senegal196,722 km²16,294,2702.80%
Tunisia163,610 km²11,659,1741.10%
Bolivia1,098,581 km²11,215,6741.48%
Greece131,990 km²11,142,161-0.16%
Hungary93,028 km²9,688,847-0.34%
Austria83,871 km²8,751,8200.19%
Switzerland41,284 km²8,544,0340.80%
Lebanon10,452 km²6,093,5090.18%
Eritrea117,600 km²5,187,9482.35%
New Zealand270,467 km²4,749,5980.93%
Panama75,417 km²4,162,6181.56%
Uruguay181,034 km²3,469,5510.37%
Latvia64,559 km²1,929,938-1.01%
Guinea Bissau36,125 km²1,907,2682.47%
Cape Verde4,033 km²553,3351.27%
Aruba180 km²105,6700.39%
Niue260 km²1,6240.37%
Tokelau12 km²1,3191.46%