Objectives: To evaluate the factors affecting the contraceptive choice of women in a developing country. Methods: Demographic characteristics, education and income level, previous and current contraceptive choices of the women from a maternity and a university hospital were retrospectively reviewed for 2 years. The data obtained from the two hospitals were analyzed by Student's t- and chi(2)-tests. Results: Family planning services were offered to 651 and 7427 women in the university and the maternity hospital, respectively. Although the mean ages and income levels of the women in two centers were similar, the women in the university hospital had lower mean gravidity and mean number of living child, while they had higher education level and previous modern contraceptive use (P < 0.05-0.001). The women in the university hospital more frequently preferred combined oral contraceptive and surgical sterilization, while those in the maternity hospital chose condom and intrauterine device (P < 0.01-0.001). Conclusions: Women with higher education level had a lower number of pregnancies and living children due to more frequent use of previous effective contraception and they chose combined oral contraceptives and irreversible methods more frequently. (C) 1999 International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics.