Over 5 million women were married even before they reached their 20th birthday, according to the latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
The data showed 5.178 million Filipinas were married below 15 years old and between 15 and 19 years old. PSA said girls married before reaching 15 years old reached 157,740, while the number of those married between 15 to 19 years old reached 5.02 million.
The data also showed that over half or 3.286 million of these women got married when they reached 18 and 19 years old. A total of 1.699 million were 18 years old when they got married and 1.587 million were 19 years old.
“The median age at first marriage among ever-married women aged 15 to 49 years was 21.6 years, an increase of 0.1 year compared with the 21.5 years posted in 2010. The age at first marriage refers to the age of the woman when she first got married or lived in a consensual union,” the PSA said.
PSA said in terms of region, Calabarzon recorded a total of 714,805 involving women below 15 years old and between 15 and 19 years old.
This was followed by the National Capital Region (NCR) with 520,461; Northern Mindanao, 294,940; Davao Region, 294,689; and Central Visayas, 288,951.
The data showed women who got married even before reaching 15 years old was the highest in Calabarzon at 19,238 followed by SOCCSKSARGEN with 13,719; NCR, 12,690; Northern Mindanao, 12,684; and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), 11,570.
The PSA said by age group, the median age at first marriage of women aged 15 to 19 years was 17.3 years. It increased to 19.6 years among women aged 20 to 24 years and further to 21 years among women aged 25 to 29 years.
Among women aged 30 years and over, the median age at first marriage averaged at about 23 years. The same trend but with slightly lower values were observed in 2010.
Data showed that among the 17 regions, six had a median age at first marriage higher than the national figure of 21.6 years. These were Region VI-Western Visayas and NCR with 22.4 years each, Ilocos Region and Cordillera Administrative Region with 22.2 years each, and Calabarzon and Central Visayas with 22 years each.
PSA said that BARMM posted the lowest median age at first marriage among regions, with 20.3 years.