UN: 115 million men and boys were married as children

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New research by the United Nations’ children’s arm estimates 115 million men and boys around the world were married as children, and 23 million of them wed before age 15.

UNICEF ‘s most in-depth analysis to date of boy bridegrooms was released Friday.

The agency estimated in 2014 there were 156 million men and boys who married before age 18. The new statistic comes from a more extensive examination that includes data from 82 countries.

Child grooms haven’t been studied as much as child brides, who are far more numerous. UNICEF estimates 650 million women and girls worldwide married at 17 or younger.

UNICEF and some other organizations say child marriage has declined in recent decades. But UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore says still, “marriage steals childhood” for many.