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. Niger
  2. Chad
  3. Central African Republic
  4. Mali
  5. Bangladesh
  6. South Sudan
  7. Burkina Faso
  8. Guinea
  9. Mozambique
  10. India
  11. Malawi
  12. Somalia
  13. Nigeria
  14. Nicaragua
  15. Madagascar
  16. Eritrea
  17. Ethiopia
  18. Uganda
  19. Sierra Leone
  20. Cameroon

* 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. India
  2. Bangladesh
  3. Nigeria
  4. Brazil
  5. Ethiopia
  6. Pakistan
  7. Indonesia
  8. Democratic Republic of the Congo
  9. Mexico
  10. Niger

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

Source: UNICEF, State of the World's Children, 2016

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.

20 Countries with the Highest Rates of Child Marriage*

  1. Niger
  2. Chad
  3. Central African Republic
  4. Mali
  5. Bangladesh
  6. South Sudan
  7. Burkina Faso
  8. Guinea
  9. Mozambique
  10. India
  11. Malawi
  12. Somalia
  13. Nigeria
  14. Nicaragua
  15. Madagascar
  16. Eritrea
  17. Ethiopia
  18. Uganda
  19. Sierra Leone
  20. Cameroon

* 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. India
  2. Bangladesh
  3. Nigeria
  4. Brazil
  5. Ethiopia
  6. Pakistan
  7. Indonesia
  8. Democratic Republic of the Congo
  9. Mexico
  10. Niger

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

Source: UNICEF, State of the World's Children, 2016