Countries Where Porn Is Illegal 2021

Hover overClick on a tile for details.
Population

Is pornographic material free speech that should be protected, or is it obscenity and even a public health concern? Different countries view pornography differently, and some do censor it on the Internet. Countries like the United States of American and Canada have low censorship due to laws guaranteeing free speech and how the courts interpret those laws. Other countries are much more stringent. Censorship laws correlate strongly with [countries' overall freedom](/country-rankings/freedom-index-by-country.

North Korea, for example, has the highest censorship of any country in the world. The government censors everything coming in and out of the country, and porn is not allowed. In case people think they can outsmart the government and use a virtual protected network (VPN) to access porn, think again. The government censors VPNs, too.

It is the same with China and a communist country with high censorship levels, though not quite as severe as North Korea. Along with much of Western social media, political news, and VPNs, pornography is censored through the Great Firewall of China.

Iran censors news media and quite a bit of social media, including Facebook, and pornography is not available. Other Muslim-majority countries, including Turkey, Pakistan, Oman, Eritrea, and the United Arab Emirates, take a similar approach, mainly to protect the countries’ Islamic values. VPNs can be accessed, though, so people in those countries can get around government censorship.

There are several Internet sites that Russia blocks, but some pornography is not censored (though several pornographic websites are blocked). The general rule in Russia is that viewing pornography is not illegal but producing it is. VPNs are blocked in Russia too.

Similarly, many governments in many countries across Africa and Asia (along with the communist country of Cuba, off the coast of Florida) censor and heavily restrict access to pornographic websites. What may surprise people is that the United Kingdom and Australia also restrict access to pornography. People in these countries can use a VPN. However, overall, the governments believe that censoring pornography is necessary to keep children safe, both when they are browsing the Internet and when they may be at risk of being trafficked.

There is much controversy about whether a government should censor or at least regulate pornographic websites. Widespread access to pornography does harm public health, as pornography is the number one cause of addiction today. It also exploits children and women who are being trafficked and provides easy ways of harassing people online. Nevertheless, some governments are hesitant to apply regulations in the name of preserving free speech.

Below is a list of countries where porn is illegal or heavily censored.

Countries Where Porn Is Illegal 2021

Country 2021 Population
China1,444,216,107
Indonesia276,361,783
Pakistan225,199,937
Bangladesh166,303,498
Russia145,912,025
Vietnam98,168,833
Turkey85,042,738
Iran85,028,759
South Korea51,305,186
Uganda47,123,531
Sudan44,909,353
Afghanistan39,835,428
Saudi Arabia35,340,683
Uzbekistan33,935,763
Malaysia32,776,194
Yemen30,490,640
Nepal29,674,920
North Korea25,887,041
Syria18,275,702
Cambodia16,946,438
Somalia16,359,504
Zimbabwe15,092,171
Cuba11,317,505
United Arab Emirates9,991,089
Belarus9,442,862
Papua New Guinea9,119,010
Laos7,379,358
Libya6,958,532
Turkmenistan6,117,924
Oman5,223,375
Kuwait4,328,550
Eritrea3,601,467
Armenia2,968,127
Qatar2,930,528
Bahrain1,748,296
Guyana790,326
Maldives543,617

Countries Where Porn Is Illegal 2021