What Are Some Child Marriage Statistics?

Child marriage is a violation of human rights. Here is a brief look at child marriage statistics and the resulting impact:

  • A 2018 UNICEF report states that, at the time, there were 650 million child brides worldwide. This number includes girls 18 and under who were already married and adult women who married in childhood.1
  • UNICEF also estimates that 45 percent of women in South Asia aged 20–24 were married before the age of 18, while a fifth were married before the age of 15.2
  • According to the United Nations, 37,000 girls under the age of 18 are married each day.3
  • According to the International Women’s Health Coalition, girls under 15 years old are five times more likely to die in childbirth than women in their 20s. They also face a higher risk of pregnancy-related injuries, such as obstetric fistula.4
  • The highest instances of child marriage happen in the following countries: Niger, Central African Republic, Chad, Bangladesh, Mali, Mozambique, Burkina Faso, South Sudan, Guinea and Somalia.5 While these countries have the highest prevalence of child marriage due to population size, the largest numbers of child brides reside in South Asia.6

What is the answer to this violation of human rights? Child marriage robs girls of their childhood and endangers their health. It also destabilizes their future. Most child brides don’t have the privilege of continuing their education and they lose the ability to help their children learn. When the husband passes away or abandons them, they are left with very few ways of providing for themselves and their children. They are very susceptible to being exploited.

GFA World is passionate about helping protect these children from child marriage. The programs available to GFA-sponsored children provide a safe place for kids to learn and grow. Children are supervised by caring adults who teach them the harms of child marriage. The children receive essentials such as nutritious food, access to clean water, medical check-ups, tutoring, school supplies and more. These resources help relieve the financial burden of the family, which allows children to stay in school. Will you join us in protecting children across Asia and in parts of Africa?

Learn more about child marriage

1 “Child Marriage: Latest trends and future prospects.” UNICEF. https://data.unicef.org/resources/child-marriage-latest-trends-and-future-prospects/. July 2018.
2 https://www.unicef.org/rosa/what-we-do/child-protection/child-marriage
3 https://31u5ac2nrwj6247cya153vw9-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/iwhc-child-marriage-facts.pdf
4 https://31u5ac2nrwj6247cya153vw9-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/iwhc-child-marriage-facts.pdf
5 https://atlas.girlsnotbrides.org/map/?_ga=2.202400786.2088365952.1640889058-930366308.1640889058
6 https://www.icrw.org/child-marriage-facts-and-figures/