When people get married in different parts of the world
It may seem that young people all over the world are getting married at about the same age – between 20 and 30. However, statistics show that this is not the case at all.
Have you ever thought that you are too old to get married? Or maybe you were terrified when mom told you she had married dad at 19? The average age for marriage varies greatly from region to region, depending on culture and the minimum legal age for marriage.
Let’s see at what age women around the world are married.
According to UN data, the average age for first marriage in Nigeria is 17.2 years old and in Mozambique 18.7 years old. In many African countries, marriage to children or adolescents is perceived as normal and therefore the age bar is so low. Unfortunately, girls are not seen as a person of their own free will, but as a commodity. Often parents give their child away by marriage of convenience without consulting the girl herself.
Marriage to minors is prohibited in some African countries such as Chad, Malawi and the Gambia, but the law is not always enforced. According to Girls Not Brides, one in five girls in the world is married before the age of 18, and most such cases occur in Africa.
The Middle East
The situation is similar to Africa: marriage to children is legal in many countries and the average age of marriage is relatively low. For example, some girls are forced to drop out of school in order to get married by appointment at age 12-13. But in countries that have ties to the Western world, the average age at marriage is higher: in Egypt and the Islamic Republic of Iran, it is 22 years old.
There is a theory: the richer the country, the later the citizens get married. This can be seen in China: over the period of rapid economic growth from 1990 to 2016, the average age at marriage rose from 22 to 25 for women and from 24 to 27 for men.
People aged 25-30 laugh at those who marry early: only rural people with no education are considered to do so. It is not that young people do not want to get married, but people have become more attentive to choosing a life partner. And some successful women even prefer not to get married, not seeing it as an advantage for themselves.
According to the UN, 26.3 years old is the average age of women when Belgians say “I do”. According to the portal Statista from 2013 to 2018 the number of marriages has been increasing and falling – obviously, there are no general trends yet.