Early Childbearing in Nigeria: A Continuing Challenge

Between 1980 and 2003, the birthrate among Nigerian women aged 15–19 decreased by 27% (from 173 to 126 births per 1,000 women this age). Nonetheless, 46% of women nationally and about 70% of those in some regions still give birth before their 20th birthday.1 Nigerian women who start having children while they are still adolescents face severe social and health disadvantages, including curtailed educational opportunities, which reduce women’s social and economic status long term, elevated rates of perinatal death, and maternal complications and death.

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