International Age of Consent Law - By Country

Virtually every country in the world has an age of consent, with varying degrees of enforcement and severity of punishment depending mainly on the local culture. This color-coded map details age of consent across the world. For a more detailed list, see ages of consent around the world .

What are the oldest and youngest Ages of Consent in the world?

Both the lowest and highest ages of consent globally are found in Africa or the Middle East. The youngest ages of consent globally are are 12 - 13 years old, in countries including Niger and Sudan. The oldest age of consent worldwide is 21 years old, found in countries including Bahrain, Gabon, Cameroon, Benin, and Madagascar. Age of Consent in the rest of the world varies from 14 - 20 years old, averaging from 16 - 18 in most countries.

In some countries, like the United States, Mexico, and Australia, the Age of Consent varies by state or province. In some countries, ages of consent also differ for males or females, or for heterosexual vs. homosexual activities. Many countries also have exceptions for age difference, or stricter rules for individuals in positions of trust or authority, such as teachers.

Age of Consent Around the World:

12 Years Old  
13 Years Old  
14 Years Old  
15 Years Old  
16 Years Old  
17 Years Old  
18 Years Old  
Marriage Required  
Unknown / Other

Age of sexual consent by country around the world

The table below lists the relevant Age of Consent for sexual contact in each country, including special ages of consent for youths who are close in age, a general age of consent for any situation where one partner is not in a position of authority or trust (like a teacher or supervisor), and the "unrestricted" age of consent at which close in age or position of authority restrictions no longer apply. Note that in some countries, the Age of Consent for homosexual interactions may be different from this table, which shows heterosexual ages of consent around the world.

Country Region Marriage Required Close-in-age difference Not in position of trust/authority Unrestricted
MexicoSouth AmericaNo12-1512-1516-1816-18
United StatesNorth AmericaNo13-1613-1616-1716-1716-2116-21
 United KingdomEuropeNo16161818
 BrazilSouth AmericaNo12121414
 CanadaNorth AmericaNo121216161818
 South KoreaAsiaNo131316161818
 Saudi ArabiaAsiaYes1818
 ArgentinaSouth AmericaNo13131818
 VenezuelaSouth AmericaNo1616
 United Arab EmiratesAsiaYes1818
 ColombiaSouth AmericaNo1414
 South AfricaAfricaNo12121616
 Hong KongAsiaNo1616
 ChileSouth AmericaNo14141818
 Czech RepublicEuropeNo15151818
 PeruSouth AmericaNo14141818
 New ZealandOceaniaNo1616
 Puerto RicoNorth AmericaNo14141616
 EcuadorSouth AmericaNo14141814
 CubaNorth AmericaNo1616
 Sri LankaAsiaNo1616
 Dominican RepublicNorth AmericaNo1818
 GuatemalaNorth AmericaNo1818
 UruguaySouth AmericaNo121215151818
 Costa RicaNorth AmericaNo15151818
 PanamaNorth AmericaNo14141818
 DR CongoAfricaNo1818
 Ivory CoastAfricaNo15151818
 BoliviaSouth AmericaNo14141818
 ParaguaySouth AmericaNo1414
 Trinidad and TobagoNorth AmericaNo12121818
 El SalvadorNorth AmericaNo15151818
 HondurasNorth AmericaNo1414
 Bosnia and HerzegovinaEuropeNo14141818
 North KoreaAsiaNo1515
 Equatorial GuineaAfricaNo1818
 Papua New GuineaOceaniaNo12141617
 JamaicaNorth AmericaNo1616
 Burkina FasoAfricaNo15151818
 NicaraguaNorth AmericaNo16161818
 North MacedoniaEuropeNo14141818
 South SudanAfricaNo1818
 HaitiNorth AmericaNo1818
 BahamasNorth AmericaNo1616
 BermudaNorth AmericaNo1616
 SurinameSouth AmericaNo1616
 East TimorAsiaNo1414
 Sierra LeoneAfricaNo1818
 BarbadosNorth AmericaNo1616
 CuraçaoNorth AmericaNo1515
 GuyanaSouth AmericaNo1616
 ArubaNorth AmericaNo1515
 Cape VerdeAfricaNo14141616
 San MarinoEuropeNo14141818
 Central African RepublicAfricaNo1818
 BelizeNorth AmericaNo1616
 Saint LuciaNorth AmericaNo1616
 Antigua and BarbudaNorth AmericaNo1616
 DominicaNorth AmericaNo1616
 São Tomé and PríncipeAfricaNo14141616
 Vatican CityEuropeYes1614
 Gaza StripAsiaYes1615
 West BankAsiaNo1616
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