Does Nevada have the highest rate of child marriage in the US?
Between 2000 and 2018, Nevada had by far the highest rate of child marriage in the U.S., according to a study published by the Journal of Adolescent Health in December 2021.
Nevada’s per capita rate of marriage for those under 18 was .671%— nearly double Idaho’s rate of .338%, which ranked second.
Over this period, researchers estimated that nearly 300,000 minors were wed in the U.S.
Nevada had no formal marriage age requirement until 2019, when it approved a law prohibiting individuals under 17 from marrying.
Currently, 43 states permit some form of child marriage, according to the women’s rights organization Equity Now. Each state has specific rules regarding minimum age, parental consent and court approval requirements.
Child marriage remains a common practice in much of the world: globally, 19% of women aged 20-24 married before the age of 18, according to a 2022 report from UNICEF.
This Fact Brief is responsive to conversations such as this one.
Journal of Adolescent Health Child Marriage in the United States: Prevalence and Implications
Equality Now Child Marriage In The United States
Nevada Legislature AB139 | Revising provisions relating to when minors may marry
FindLaw State-by-State Marriage 'Age of Consent' Laws
UNICEF Child marriage
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