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. Central African Republic
  3. Chad
  4. Bangladesh
  5. Burkina Faso
  6. Mali
  7. South Sudan
  8. Guinea
  9. Mozambique
  10. Somalia
  11. Nigeria
  12. Malawi
  13. Eritrea
  14. Madagascar
  15. Ethiopia
  16. Nepal
  17. Uganda
  18. Sierra Leone
  19. Democratic Republic of the Congo
  20. Mauritania

* 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, 2017). 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 2010-2016.

20 Countries with the Highest Absolute Numbers of Child Marriage*

  1. India
  2. Bangladesh
  3. Nigeria
  4. Brazil
  5. Ethiopia
  6. Pakistan
  7. Mexico
  8. Indonesia
  9. Democratic Republic of the Congo
  10. Uganda
  11. Tanzania
  12. Philippines
  13. Egypt
  14. Niger
  15. Mozambique
  16. Sudan
  17. Nepal
  18. Afghanistan
  19. Thailand
  20. Kenya

* Women aged 20 to 24 years old who were married before they were 18

Source: UNICEF, State of the World's Children, 2017

1.2 billion

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

1 in 5 girls

In the world are said to be married before 18.

650 Million

Over 650 million women alive today were married as children.

20 Countries with the Highest Rates of Child Marriage*

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

* 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, 2017). 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 2010-2016.

20 Countries with the Highest Absolute Numbers of Child Marriage*

  1. India
  2. Bangladesh
  3. Nigeria
  4. Brazil
  5. Ethiopia
  6. Pakistan
  7. Mexico
  8. Indonesia
  9. Democratic Republic of the Congo
  10. Uganda
  11. Tanzania
  12. Philippines
  13. Egypt
  14. Niger
  15. Mozambique
  16. Sudan
  17. Nepal
  18. Afghanistan
  19. Thailand
  20. Kenya

* Women aged 20 to 24 years old who were married before they were 18

Source: UNICEF, State of the World's Children, 2017