Guatemala has raised the minimum age for marriage, but worldwide one in four girls are married before the age of 18. A global push to end child marriage has seen the rates of child marriage slowly decline in the past three decades. Here are some facts about the prevalence of child marriage globally.
This year Malawi banned child marriage by raising the minimum age for marriage to 18.
Ending child marriage by 2030 is one of the targets listed in the Sustainable Development Goals recently adopted by member states of the United Nations.
Every year 15 million girls marry before the age of 18, equaling about 41,000 girls a day.
One in nine girls in the developing world is married before the age of 15.
Countries with high rates of child marriage are concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa. But due to population size, the largest absolute numbers of child brides, particularly under 15, are found in South Asia.
Progress has been made in South Asia, where the marriage of girls under age 15 declined to 17 percent from 32 percent from 2005 to 2012.
In terms of numbers, India has by far the most child brides of any country.
Niger has the world’s highest rate of child marriage, with 75 percent of girls marrying before age 18, closely followed by the Central African Republic, Chad, Bangladesh and Guinea.
Niger is also home to the world’s highest rate of child marriage among girls under 15.
Girls are disproportionately affected by child marriage but a large number of boys also marry as children.
One hundred and fifty-six million men alive today were married before age 18, while 33 million men were married under age 15.
Sources: United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and campaign group Girls Not Brides. (Thomson Reuters Foundation)