According to UNICEF, Nigeria has the third highest absolute number of child brides in the world – 3,538,000 – and the 11th highest prevalence rate of child marriage globally. 44% of girls in Nigeria are married before their 18th birthday and 18% are married before the age of 15. A 2017 World Bank study estimates that child marriage costs Nigeria USD7.6 billion in lost earnings and productivity every year.
In the North West and North East of Nigeria, 68% and 57% of women aged 20-49 were married before their 18th birthday. Child marriage is particularly common among Nigeria’s poorest, rural households and the Hausa ethnic group.