this study focused on coverage of screening for cervical cancer and associated factors in women 20 to 59 years of age in florianópolis, santa catarina state, brazil, in 2009. this was a cross-sectional study using cluster random sampling. two outcomes were examined: a history of at least one papanicolaou test and delaying the test (never performed or performed more than three years previously). among 952 women, 93% (95%ci: 91.5-94.7) had ever had a pap smear, whereas 14% (95%ci: 11.8-16.2) had delayed the test. according to poisson regression, both outcomes were associated with marital status, schooling, presence of chronic disease, and consulting a physician for other reasons. age, income, and hospitalization in the previous year were only associated with ever having a pap smear. although test coverage was high, much of the screening was opportunistic. in addition, various social, economic, and demographic disparities influenced the odds of being screened.