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Delaying the transition to marriage and parenthood among young people has been a policy and program priority for several years in India. Several national-level policies formulated since 2000 have advocated special program attention to delay age at marriage and age at first birth. Despite these commitments, substantial proportions of girls continue to marry in adolescence in India. As recently as in 2005–06, more than two-fifths of women aged 20–24 were married by 18 years nationally. Likewise, over one-fifth of women aged 20–24 had given birth before age 18 and two-fifths before age 20. While the magnitude of early marriage and childbearing has been widely documented, far less is known about the extent to which young people are involved in planning their marriage, how prepared they are for married life, and the nature of their married life. This policy brief documents the magnitude of early marriage and early childbearing in Rajasthan and sheds light on young people’s involvement in marriage-related planning, preparedness for married life, and the nature of married life.






Youth in India: Situation and Needs Study