The average age of an Indian bride compared to that of brides from other countries
The age of an Indian bride is an important statistic that has serious implications for the general well-being of the country. The United Nations releases periodic data on the average age when people get married and this data throws up interesting findings.
It is observed that the better the living conditions in a country, the older the average age of the bride. There are exceptions as always, but this correlation seems to be true. To prove this,
To prove this correlation, here is a map produced by Knoema. The map shows the average age of brides in all the countries of the world. The darker the shade, the older the brides at the time of marriage. You will notice from the map that Scandinavian countries such as Sweden, European countries such as Germany and Australia are shaded dark red denoting an average age of over 30 years at the time of marriage.
Now let’s look at the average age of the Indian bride at the time of marriage. The UN data shows the average Indian bride get married at about 20.2 years. This is almost over ten years earlier than brides in developed countries!
Why do we have the under-aged Indian bride?
There are three key reasons:
- Poverty is a key driver for child marriage for pushing the average age of the Indian bride lower.
- Social norms are changing but not as fast as you would want them to! There is an inherent pressure on parents to get their daughters married even in well to do, educated families.
- A majority of the Indian society is patriarchal and male-dominated, perceived family “honour” and other (nonsensical) thinking generally gives the girl no option but to follow orders when it comes to marriage. Matriarchal societies such as that in Kerala have done better than other Indian states in terms of parameters like education and health. This once again proves that giving women the opportunity for education and career before marriage will impact the society in a positive way.
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Did you Know? The average age of Indian man at marriage is 23.4 years (Source).