Child marriage among women has become a major threat to the rights of women, especially in low- and middle-income countries. The marriage of girls below age 18 y is a major public and global health challenge. Therefore, this study examined the spatial pattern and factors associated with child marriage in Nigeria.
The data were sourced from the 2018 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey. The study included a total of 4283 young women aged 20–24 y. The findings were provided in the form of spatial maps and adjusted ORs (aORs) with 95% confidence interval (CI).
Hotspot areas for child marriage in Nigeria were located in Sokoto, Kebbi, Katsina, Kano, Jigawa, Yobe, Bauchi, Niger, Borno, Gombe, and Adamawa. The prevalence of child marriage in Nigeria was 41.50%. The likelihood of child marriage in Nigeria was high among those currently working (aOR=1.31; 95% CI 1.11 to 1.55) compared with young women who were not working. On the other hand, young women whose partners had secondary education and above (aOR=0.57; 95% CI 0.45 to 0.73) were less likely to report child marriage in Nigeria compared with those whose partners had no education.
The findings of the study indicate that there are several hotspots in Nigeria that need to be targeted when implementing interventions aimed at eliminating child marriage in the country.