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Age of Consent by Country

Age of Consent by Country
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Introduction

Understanding the age of consent - the age at which an individual is legally deemed capable of consenting to sexual acts - is of critical importance, both from a legal and sociocultural perspective. The age of consent varies substantially worldwide, reflecting the spectrum of societal norms, cultural beliefs, and legal frameworks present across different countries. Encompassing laws that range from setting specific ages to requiring marriage, these variations underscore the nuanced and often controversial nature of the issue.

  • The most common age of consent appears to be 16 years old, as seen in jurisdictions like South Africa, Norway, Moldova, Fiji, and Canada, amongst many others.
  • There are countries where the age criterion is supplanted by marital status, indicating the presence of socio-cultural and religious influences on legal provisions related to consent.
  • In some regions, the age of consent is set relatively low. For example, the age of consent stands at 11 in Nigeria, and in contrast, it is 14 years in countries including Colombia, Ecuador, Austria, France, as well as others.
  • Some countries mark the age of consent at a relatively high 20 years, like South Korea. In Bahrain, it's even higher at 21.

By Country

Full Data Set

Frequently Asked Questions

Methodology