The Roar Meter is a weekly story in numbers.
- Highest age of sexual consent in the U.S.: 18
- Lowest age of sexual consent in the U.S.: 16
- Highest age of sexual consent worldwide: 21 (Bahrain)
- Lowest age of sexual consent worldwide: 11 (Nigeria)
- Number of girls worldwide married before their 18th birthday: 700 million
- 1 in 3 of them was married before her 15th birthday
At least 38 US states allow minors to marry, usually girls; while most states’ official minimum age for marriage is 18, most allow for parental consent, consent by emancipated minors, or other loopholes.
- 27 states have no age floor.
- 1 state (Virginia) requires parties to both be legal adults (including emancipated minors 16+)
- 2 states (Nebraska and Oregon) require parties be 17
- Nebraska’s age of majority is 19, and they require parental consent for 17 and 18 year olds.
- 11 states and D.C require parties be 16.
- 5 states require parties be 15.
- 3 states require parties be 14.
- New Hampshire has the lowest age floor: 13 for girls, 14 for boys.
- Massachusetts has no age floor but case law suggests a minimum age of 12 for girls (14 for boys)
- Highest and Lowest Ages of Consent
- EVERY LAST GIRL
- Understanding State Statutes on Minimum Marriage Age and Exceptions
Annika Barranti Klein is a writer, knitter, women’s banked track roller derby referee, and radical homeschooling mother. Her work has appeared at The Toast, The Establishment, and on Book Riot. She is a cis, white, bi-furious intersectional feminist.