United States of America (USA)



2018 population growth rate


Estimated prevalence among girls and women

There are no national statistics on female genital cutting (FGC) in the USA.  Estimates suggest 513,000 women and girls are at risk of FGC or its consequences. The practice is not indigenous to the country, however FGC has been known to continue within some diaspora, refugee and immigrant populations.

Source: Goldberg, 2016 

Type practised

The type of FGC practised by communities in the USA is likely to be varied, depending on the traditions surrounding the practice within their ethnic group/country of heritage.


The average age at which girls living in the USA have undergone FGC is unknown. Girls at risk may undergo FGC from birth, approximately up until the age of 16, depending on the traditional age of cutting within a specific ethnic group.


Varied. Girls living in the USA may be at risk of undergoing the practice within the country, or overseas. This could be carried out by a medical practitioner, or by a traditional cutter.

Legal status

27 US states have a law against FGC. There has also been a federal law against the practice since 1997.

In a controversial ruling in 2018, a federal judge dismissed the United States’ first legal case on female genital cutting (FGC), against a doctor from the Dawoodi Bohra community, declaring the federal legislation banning the practice as unconstitutional.

National progress

  • There is an active movement of campaigners and activists in the US working to raise awareness and spark dialogue to end FGC. US activists from diaspora communities such as Jaha Dukureh, founder of Safe Hands for Girls, and Mariya Taher, co-founder of Sahiyo, are bringing global attention to the issue.

Human Development Index ranking

13 in 2018 index, based on 2017 data.

Infant mortality rate

5.6 deaths per 1,000 live births (2016).

Maternal mortality rate

14 deaths per 100,000 live births (2015).

Source: Human Development Index

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