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Child marriage down 15% over last decade, with big drop in India

Child marriage in India
Photo by UNICEF/UN062021/Vishwanathan

The number of women around the world who were married as children has dropped 15% in the last decade, according to new data from UNICEF. The group says if rates hadn't been lowered, 25 million more child marriages would have taken place.

Why it matters: An estimated 650 million women alive today were married as children, with the current rate down to about 12 million child marriages a year. But despite progress being made against the practice — which has been linked to sex trafficking, teenage pregnancy and domestic abuse — the UN's goal of eliminating child marriage by 2030 is far off.