Three out of four girls marry before they turn 18 in Niger, the country with the highest rate of child marriage in the world. A recent research by the International Centre for Research on Women and the World Bank indicated that ending child marriage in Niger could save the country more than $25 billion. However, many girls are still married and this has been attributed mainly to poverty. For some, having a child marry early is aimed at upholding social and religious traditions.
Statistics indicate that 81% of women aged 20-24 with no education and 63% with only primary education were married or in a union at age 18, compared to only 17% of women with secondary education or higher. The legal age of marriage for girls in Niger is 15. A law has been proposed to change the age to 18 for girls but is yet to be adopted.