Under-15 fertility around the world

Press release Published on 13 June 2022

Authors: Bruno Schoumaker and David A. Sánchez-Páez

How many children are born to girls under age 15? Such births are rare, but it is important to estimate their frequency and to know in which countries they occur. These births have a negative impact on the health of both the girls and their children, and on the education of these school-age mothers. Using available data, Bruno Schoumaker and David Sánchez-Páez provide an overview of under-15 fertility around the world.

Approximately 400,000 births to adolescent girls under age 15 occurred worldwide each year in the 2010s, representing a fertility rate of around 13 annual births per 10,000 girls aged 10–14. More than half of these occurred in sub-Saharan Africa, where we observe 40 annual births per 10,000 girls aged 10–14. Since the early 1970s, fertility among girls aged 10–14 has decreased sixfold worldwide. In countries of the Global South, a majority of these births occur within a union (marriage or non-marital cohabitation).

Published on: 15/06/2022