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Survey reveals most child marriages in South India happen in Andhra Pradesh


According to the National Family Health Survey, Andhra Pradesh ranks first among the five South Indian states in terms of underage marriages (NFHS-5). Telangana is ranked second on the list, while Kerala is ranked last. On July 2 and November 14, 2019, the NFHS-5 surveyed 11,346 households.


Andhra Pradesh’s rate of underage marriages has dropped to 29.3 percent, down from 33 percent in NFHS-4. This is, however, the highest of the five states in South India. This group includes women aged 20 to 24, who were married before turning 18.


According to the poll, the percentage of child marriages in NFHS-5 increased as compared to NFHS-4 in a few districts across the state. The poll also showed that several women between the ages of 15 and 19 had already become mothers.


Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) officials told the New Indian Express that the Covid-19 pandemic had led to a spike in the number of child marriages in the state. With 37.3 percent each, the districts of Anantapur and Prakasam had the highest underage marriage rate, followed by Kurnool with 36.9 percent.


With 23.5 percent of underage marriages, Telangana placed 2nd among the southern states. With 21.3 percent, Karnataka is third, followed by Tamil Nadu with 12.8 percent. Kerala has the lowest rate, at 6.3 percent.


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