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Child Marriage Among Girls in India: Prevalence, Trends and Socio-Economic Correlates
Authors: Pintu Paul
Source: Indian Journal of Human Development, Published online; DOI: 10.1177/0973703020950263
Topic(s): Child marriage
Country: Asia
Published: SEP 2020
Abstract: This article examines prevalence of child marriage among girls in India, its trends and socio-economic correlates. It is based on data extracted from the National Family Health Survey (NFHS). This analysis shows that the prevalence of marriage among female children has considerably declined between 1992–1993 (NFHS-1) and 2015–2016 (NFHS-4). Its incidence by age cohorts also shows a significant reduction during the recent period. However, child marriage is persistent among uneducated, poor and rural women. The results of multivariate logistic regression reveal that the educational attainment and wealth status of the household are the most significant correlates of female child marriage in India. Girls and young women with secondary and higher educational levels are less likely to be married before 18 years compared to the uneducated ones. Further, females living in poverty are associated with increased odds of child marriage compared to those from wealthier economic status. The findings suggest that increasing opportunities for girls’ education and providing financial assistance to the poor families would eliminate the practice of child marriage among Indian women. Keywords Child marriage, socio-economic correlates, trend analysis, logistic regression, NFHS, India