Girl facts: sources


62 million girls across the world are out of school.

Source: UNESCO - UNESCO’s Institute for Statistics estimation

Globally, nearly 1 in 5 girls of lower secondary school age is out of school

Source: UNESCO - UNESCO’s Institute for Statistics estimation

Girls’ primary school completion rates are below 50% in most poor countries.

Source: UNESCO - UNESCO’s Institute for Statistics estimation PDF

Every year, 15 million girls are forced or coerced into marriage.

Source: UNICEF, Ending Child Marriage: Progress and prospects, 2014

Every 3 seconds, another girl is forced or coerced to marry.

Source: Plan’s ‘Breaking Vows: Early and Forced Marriage and Girls’ Education, 2011

1 in every 3 girls in the developing world is married by the age of 18.

Source: UNICEF (2011), “The State of the World’s Children 2011, Adolescence: An Age of Opportunity”, New York: UNICEF Population Council.

1 in 9 marries before they reach the age of 15.

Source: UNFPA, Marrying Too Young: End Child Marriage, 2012

150 million girls, and 73 million boys, under 18 have experienced rape or other forms of sexual violence.

Source: According to the World Health Organization based on estimates by Andrews, G., et al. 2004. “Child Sexual Abuse,” Chapter 23 in Ezzati, M., et al. 2004. Comparative Quantification of Health Risks: Global and Regional Burden of Disease Attributable to Selected Major Risk Factors. Vol. 2. WHO, Geneva: 1851-1940 and data of the Population Division of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs for population under 18 years. See WHO. 2006. Global Estimates of Health Consequences due to Violence against Children. Background paper for the United Nations Study on Violence against Children. WHO, Geneva, cited in General Assembly. 2006. Report of the Independent Expert for the United Nations Study on Violence against Children.

The leading cause of death for young women aged 15-19 in developing countries is pregnancy.

Source: Because I am a Girl. The State of the World’s Girls 2009. Girls in the Global Economy: Adding It All Up, p.51. London, Plan. World Health Organization WHO, Women and Health

An extra year of secondary school can increase a girl’s potential income by 15 to 25%.

Source: Psacharopoulous, G. et al. “Returns to Investment in Education: A further Update. Policy Research Working Paper 2881 (Washington, DC: World Bank 2002).

Each extra year of a mother’s schooling cuts infant mortality by between 5 and 10%.

Source: Herz, B. And Sperling G. (2004). What Works in Girls’ Education: Evidence and Policies from the Developing World. Council on Foreign Relations: New York

An increase of only 1% in girls secondary education attendance, adds 0.3% to a country's GDP.

Source: Plan International (2008) 'Paying the Price, the economic cost of failing to educate girls.