Menu

Child marriage around the world

Child marriage around the world

Child marriage is a truly global problem that cuts across countries, cultures, religions and ethnicities. Child brides can be found in every region in the world, from the Middle East to Latin America, South Asia to Europe.


20 Countries with the Highest Rates of Child Marriage*

  1. 01 Niger 76%
  2. 02 Central African Republic 68%
  3. 03 Chad 68%
  4. 04 Mali 55%
  5. 05 Guinea 52%
  6. 06 Bangladesh 52%
  7. 07 South Sudan 52%
  8. 08 Burkina Faso 52%
  9. 09 Mozambique 48%
  10. 10 India 47%
  11. 11 Malawi 46%
  12. 12 Somalia 45%
  13. 13 Nigeria 43%
  14. 14 Nicaragua 41%
  15. 15 Madagascar 41%
  16. 16 Eritrea 41%
  17. 17 Ethiopia 41%
  18. 18 Uganda 40%
  19. 19 Sierra Leone 39%
  20. 20 Cameroon 38%

* Child marriage prevalence is the percentage of women 20-24 years old who were first married or in union before they were 18 years old (UNICEF State of the World’s Children, 2016). It is based on Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS), Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) and other national surveys, and refers to the most recent year available during the period 2008-2014.


10 Countries with the Highest Absolute Numbers of Child Marriage*

  1. 01 India 10,063,000
  2. 02 Bangladesh 2,359,000
  3. 03 Nigeria 1,193,000
  4. 04 Brazil 877,000
  5. 05 Ethiopia 673,000
  6. 06 Pakistan 600,000
  7. 07 Indonesia 458,000
  8. 08 Democratic Republic of the Congo 291,000
  9. 09 Mexico 260,000
  10. 10 Niger 244,000

* Women aged 20 to 24 years old who were married before they were 15.

Source: Vogelstein, R, Ending Child Marriage, How elevating the status of girls advances US foreign policy objectives, Council on Foreign Relations, 2013

1.2 billion

If there is no reduction in child marriage, the global number of child brides will reach 1.2 billion by 2050.

1 in 3 girls

In the developing world are said to be married before 18.

700 Million

Over 700 million women alive today were married as children.