Countries Where Prostitution is Legal

Prostitution can be defined simply as engaging in some type of sexual activity in exchange for monetary compensation and is one of the oldest professions in the world. A prostitute is a person who is the recipient of the monetary payment and the one who is providing the sexual favors at a predetermined price for another. 

Prostitutes sometimes work for a pimp, also known as a procurer, and the job of the pimp is to find customers for the prostitutes. In exchange for finding them customers, the prostitutes then pay their pimp a proportion of their earnings. In this way, a pimp is analogous to an agent for the prostitute. 

Broadly speaking, it’s usually only men who seek out prostitutes in order to buy sex, although a very tiny proportion of women do so as well. Women usually earn money through sex work, rather than being the ones who pay for it. 

Prostitution most commonly occurs only in certain areas of cities. These are colloquially known as Red Light districts. In many countries, prostitution remains an illegal activity, but in spite of that, it still occurs criminally. In the worst case scenario, prostitutes are women who’ve been kidnapped and forced into sex-trafficking. Due to the illicit nature of the activity, people use it as an alternative and unregulated way to earn money. However, in a fair few number of countries prostitution has been legalized, thus removing the criminality from the practice and allowing it to be regulated. 

To learn more about countries where prostitution is legal, scroll the charts. 

Prostitution Policy by Country

Afghanistan

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Illegal

Albania

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Illegal

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.64

#41 in the World

RAPE RATEhelp

2.26

#59 in the World

Angola

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Illegal

Antigua and Barbuda

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Illegal

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

1.97

#26 in the World

RAPE RATEhelp

18.38

#25 in the World

Argentina

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Legal

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

1.61

#27 in the World

RAPE RATEhelp

12.42

#33 in the World

Armenia

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Limitedly Legal

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

1.02

#28 in the World

Australia

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Limitedly Legal

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.58

#43 in the World

Austria

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Legal

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.81

#44 in the World

RAPE RATEhelp

18.7

#26 in the World

Bangladesh

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Legal

Barbados

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Illegal

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

2.02

#17 in the World

RAPE RATEhelp

13.57

#31 in the World

Belgium

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Legal

RAPE RATEhelp

29.87

#18 in the World

Belize

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Legal

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

5.5

#6 in the World

RAPE RATEhelp

6.29

#47 in the World

Bolivia

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Legal

Brazil

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Legal

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

3.54

#12 in the World

RAPE RATEhelp

22.44

#22 in the World

Bulgaria

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Legal

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.73

#46 in the World

RAPE RATEhelp

1.57

#64 in the World

Cambodia

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Illegal

Canada

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PROSTITUTION POLICYhelp

Limitedly Legal

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.9

#47 in the World

Chile

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Legal

RAPE RATEhelp

19.45

#24 in the World

Colombia

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Legal

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

3.53

#13 in the World

RAPE RATEhelp

34.62

#13 in the World

Costa Rica

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Legal

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

2.43

#18 in the World

RAPE RATEhelp

35.53

#12 in the World

Croatia

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Illegal

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.89

#48 in the World

RAPE RATEhelp

7.36

#43 in the World

Cuba

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Legal

Cyprus

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Legal

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.66

#49 in the World

RAPE RATEhelp

2.32

#60 in the World

Czech Republic

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Legal

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.72

#50 in the World

RAPE RATEhelp

5.97

#50 in the World

Denmark

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Legal

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.58

#51 in the World

RAPE RATEhelp

37.26

#11 in the World

Dominica

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Illegal

RAPE RATEhelp

16.67

#28 in the World

Dominican Republic

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Legal

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

2.36

#19 in the World

RAPE RATEhelp

9.48

#40 in the World

Ecuador

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Legal

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

1.87

#31 in the World

RAPE RATEhelp

30.26

#16 in the World

Egypt

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Illegal

El Salvador

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PROSTITUTION POLICYhelp

Legal

RAPE RATEhelp

30.3

#17 in the World

Estonia

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Legal

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

1.43

#32 in the World

RAPE RATEhelp

11.46

#37 in the World

Ethiopia

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Legal

Finland

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Legal

RAPE RATEhelp

27.4

#20 in the World

France

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Limitedly Legal

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.71

#52 in the World

RAPE RATEhelp

39.59

#9 in the World

Germany

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Legal

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.84

#53 in the World

RAPE RATEhelp

12.08

#34 in the World

Greece

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Legal

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.36

#54 in the World

RAPE RATEhelp

1.65

#65 in the World

Grenada

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Illegal

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

5.37

#7 in the World

RAPE RATEhelp

88.87

#2 in the World

Guatemala

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Legal

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

4.96

#10 in the World

RAPE RATEhelp

33.59

#14 in the World

Guyana

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Illegal

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

9.97

#1 in the World

RAPE RATEhelp

27.46

#21 in the World

Haiti

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Illegal

Honduras

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Legal

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

6.58

#3 in the World

RAPE RATEhelp

5.25

#51 in the World

Hungary

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Legal

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.77

#56 in the World

RAPE RATEhelp

5.22

#52 in the World

Iceland

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Limitedly Legal

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

2.36

#20 in the World

RAPE RATEhelp

46.3

#6 in the World

India

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Legal

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

2.47

#21 in the World

Indonesia

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Legal

Iran

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Illegal

Iraq

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Illegal

Ireland

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PROSTITUTION POLICYhelp

Limitedly Legal

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.24

#57 in the World

RAPE RATEhelp

20.47

#23 in the World

Israel

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Legal

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.58

#58 in the World

Italy

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Legal

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.37

#59 in the World

Jamaica

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Illegal

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

7.58

#2 in the World

RAPE RATEhelp

17.93

#27 in the World

Japan

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Limitedly Legal

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.29

#60 in the World

RAPE RATEhelp

1.05

#66 in the World

Jordan

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Illegal

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.54

#61 in the World

RAPE RATEhelp

1.69

#67 in the World

Kenya

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Legal

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

1.66

#34 in the World

RAPE RATEhelp

1.75

#68 in the World

Kyrgyzstan

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Legal

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.55

#62 in the World

RAPE RATEhelp

7.43

#44 in the World

Latvia

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Legal

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

4.13

#11 in the World

RAPE RATEhelp

10.71

#39 in the World

Liberia

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Illegal

Lithuania

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Illegal

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

1.98

#35 in the World

RAPE RATEhelp

2.64

#61 in the World

Luxembourg

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Legal

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0

#63 in the World

Malaysia

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PROSTITUTION POLICYhelp

Limitedly Legal

Malta

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Legal

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.45

#65 in the World

RAPE RATEhelp

3.85

#55 in the World

Mexico

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Legal

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

6.01

#4 in the World

RAPE RATEhelp

13.95

#32 in the World

Netherlands

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Legal

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.51

#69 in the World

RAPE RATEhelp

11.73

#38 in the World

New Zealand

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PROSTITUTION POLICYhelp

Legal

RAPE RATEhelp

33.76

#15 in the World

Nicaragua

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Legal

North Korea

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PROSTITUTION POLICYhelp

Illegal

Norway

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PROSTITUTION POLICYhelp

Limitedly Legal

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.56

#70 in the World

RAPE RATEhelp

41.21

#8 in the World

Panama

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Legal

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

2.13

#23 in the World

RAPE RATEhelp

53.98

#5 in the World

Paraguay

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Legal

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

1.97

#38 in the World

RAPE RATEhelp

16.38

#29 in the World

People's Republic of China

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Illegal

Peru

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PROSTITUTION POLICYhelp

Legal

RAPE RATEhelp

29.8

#19 in the World

Philippines

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Illegal

Poland

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Legal

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.46

#73 in the World

RAPE RATEhelp

1.5

#71 in the World

Portugal

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Legal

RAPE RATEhelp

3.09

#57 in the World

Romania

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Illegal

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.97

#75 in the World

RAPE RATEhelp

8.29

#41 in the World

Rwanda

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Illegal

Saint Kitts and Nevis

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Illegal

RAPE RATEhelp

56.4

#4 in the World

Saint Lucia

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Illegal

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

5.36

#8 in the World

RAPE RATEhelp

14.16

#30 in the World

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

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Illegal

Saudi Arabia

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Illegal

Senegal

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Legal

Singapore

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Legal

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.18

#77 in the World

RAPE RATEhelp

5.95

#54 in the World

Slovakia

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Legal

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

1

#39 in the World

RAPE RATEhelp

1.7

#73 in the World

Slovenia

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Legal

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.57

#78 in the World

RAPE RATEhelp

2.21

#62 in the World

South Africa

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Illegal

South Korea

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Illegal

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.54

#79 in the World

Spain

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Legal

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.5

#80 in the World

RAPE RATEhelp

3.41

#58 in the World

Suriname

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Illegal

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

3.43

#16 in the World

RAPE RATEhelp

43.3

#7 in the World

Sweden

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Limitedly Legal

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.5

#81 in the World

RAPE RATEhelp

87.97

#3 in the World

Switzerland

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Legal

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.62

#82 in the World

RAPE RATEhelp

8.24

#42 in the World

Thailand

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Illegal

RAPE RATEhelp

2.5

#63 in the World

The Bahamas

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Illegal

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

5.44

#9 in the World

RAPE RATEhelp

12.71

#36 in the World

Trinidad and Tobago

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Illegal

Turkey

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Legal

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

0.88

#84 in the World

Uganda

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Illegal

United Arab Emirates

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Illegal

United Kingdom

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PROSTITUTION POLICYhelp

Limitedly Legal

United States of America

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Limitedly Legal

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

2.6

#24 in the World

RAPE RATEhelp

38.2

#10 in the World

Uruguay

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Legal

FEMALE VICTIM OF HOMICIDE RATEhelp

2.06

#25 in the World

RAPE RATEhelp

7.37

#46 in the World

Venezuela

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Legal