Worldwide ages of consent

This table lists different countries around the world, and shows the ages at which people of different sexualities can legally have sex.

If you’re an adult, and you’re reading this page for personal information, then you might need a more detailed explanation of these laws as they relate to adults – you can find this on our age of consent FAQ page.

If you’re a young person, and you want to find out more, read our page on teens, sex and the law. You might also like to have a look at our “Am I ready for sex?” page.

This table should only be used as general guide – please also read the notes at the bottom of this page.
Country Male-Female Sex Male-Male Sex Female-Female Sex
Afghanistan 18/Married Illegal Illegal
Albania 14 14 14
Algeria 16 Illegal Illegal
American Samoa 15? 15? 15?
Andorra 16 16 16
Angola 12/15 Illegal Illegal
Antigua and Barbuda 16 16 16
Argentina 13/16 13/16 13/16
Armenia 16 16 16
Aruba 16 16 16
Australia ACT 16 16 16
Australia NSW & Norfolk Is. 16 16 16
Australia NT 16 16 16
Australia Queensland1 16/18 18 16
Australia SA 17 17 17
Australia Tasmania 17 17 17
Australia Victoria 16 16 16
Australia WA 16 16 16
Austria2 14/16 14/16 14/16
Azerbaijan 16 16 16
Bahamas 16 18 18
Bahrain 16/Married
Illegal Illegal
Bangladesh ? Illegal Illegal
Barbados 16 Illegal Illegal
Belarus 16/18 16 16
Belgium 16 16 16
Belize 16 ? ?
Bermuda 16 18 16
Benin ? Illegal Illegal
Bhutan 18 Illegal ?
Bolivia 14f/16m ? ?
Bosnia 16 16 16
Botswana 16f/14m Illegal ?
Brazil3 14/18 14/18 14/18
Brunei 14/16 Illegal Illegal
Bulgaria 14 14 14
Burkina Faso 13 13 13
Burma/Myanmar ? Illegal ?
Burundi 18 Illegal ?
Cambodia (Kampuchea) 16 ? ?
Cambodia 16 ? ?
Cameroon Must be married
Illegal ?
Canada4 16/18 18 16
Cape Verde ? ? ?
Cayman Islands ? ? ?
Central African Republic ? ? ?
Chad ? 21 21
Chechenya ? ? ?
Chile 14 18 18
China 14 14 14
China – Hong Kong 16 16 16
China – Macao 16/17 ? ?
Chinese Taipei (Taiwan)
16 16 16
Colombia 14 14 14
Cook Islands 16 Illegal 16
Costa Rica 15 15 15
Cote D’Ivoire 15 15? 15?
Croatia 14 14 14
Cuba 16 16 16
Cyprus 13/17 17 (Illegal in north) 17
Czech Republic 15 15 15
Democratic Republic of the Congo ? Illegal ?
Denmark 15 15 15
Dominica 16 ? ?
Dominican Republic 18 18 18
Dutch Antilles 16 16 16
Ecuador 14 14 14
Egypt 18 Illegal 18
El Salvador 18 ? ?
Equatorial Guinea ? ? ?
Eritrea 18 Illegal Illegal
Estonia 14 14 14
Ethiopia 15 Illegal Illegal
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) 16 16 16
Faroe Islands 15 15 15
Fiji 16 16 (unofficial) 16
Finland5 16 16 16
Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 16 16 16
France 15 15 15
French Guiana 15 15 15
French Polynesia (Tahiti) 16 16 16
Gabon 18 18 18
Gambia 16 Illegal ?
Georgia (country) 16 16 16
Germany6 14/16 14/16 14/16
Ghana 16 Illegal Illegal
Greece 15 15/17 15
Greenland ? ? ?
Grenada 17 Illegal 17
Guam 16 16 16
Guadelope 15 15 15
Guatemala 18 18 18
Guinea 15 Illegal Illegal
Guyana 16 Illegal 16
Haiti 18 18 18
Honduras 14/17 14 14
Hungary 14 14 14
Iceland 15 15 15
India7 14/16 Illegal Illegal
Indonesia 16f/19m 18 18
Iran Must be married Illegal Illegal
Iraq 18 ? ?
Ireland 17 17 17
Israel 14-16 14-16 14-16
Italy 14 14 14
Jamaica 16 Illegal 16
Japan8 13-18 13-18 13-18
Jordan 16 16 16
Kazakhstan 18 ? ?
Kenya 18 Illegal 18
Kuwait Must be married? Illegal Illegal
Kyrgyzstan ? ? ?
Laos 15 ? ?
Latvia 14/16 14/16 14/16
Lebanon 15/18/Married Illegal Illegal
Lesotho ? ? ?
Liberia 16 Illegal Illegal
Liechtenstein 14 14 14
Lithuania 14 14 14
Luxembourg 16 16 16
Madagascar 21? 21 21
Mali 16 ? ?
Malta 18 18 18
Malaysia 16/Married Illegal 16
Marshall Islands 16 16 16
Martinique 15 15 15
Mauritius 15 Illegal Illegal
Mexico9 12-18 12-18 12-18
Moldova 14 14 14
Monaco 15 15 15
Mongolia 16 ? ?
Montenegro 14 14 14
Morocco 15 Illegal Illegal
Mozambique ? Illegal ?
Namibia 16 Illegal 16
Nepal 16 ? ?
Netherlands 16 16 16
Netherlands Antilles 16 16 16
New Caledonia 16 16 16
New Zealand 16 16 16
Nicaragua ? ? ?
Niger ? 21 21
Nigeria 13 Illegal Illegal
North Korea Undefined Undefined Undefined
Norway5 16 16 16
Oman Must be married Illegal Illegal
Pakistan Must be married Illegal Illegal
Panama 18 Illegal (not enforced)
?
Papua New Guinea10 16f/14m/Illegal Illegal 16
Paraquay11 14/16 16 16
Peru 14 14 14
Philippines12 12/18 12/18 12/18
Poland 15 15 15
Portugal13 14/16 14/16 14/16
Puerto Rico 14 14 14
Qatar Must be married Illegal Illegal
Reunion 16 16 16
Romania 15 15 15
Russia 16 16 16
Rwanda 18 18 18
San Marino 14/16 14/16 14/16
Saudi Arabia Must be married Illegal Illegal
Senegal ? Illegal Illegal
Serbia 14 14 14
Singapore 16 Illegal 16
Slovakia 15 15 15
Slovenia 15 15 15
Somalia ? Illegal Illegal
South Africa 16 16 16
South Korea 13 13 13
Spain 13 13 13
Sri Lanka 16 Illegal 16
St. Kitts and Nevis 14/16 ? ?
St. Martin ? ? ?
Sudan Must be married Illegal Illegal
Suriname 16 18 18
Sweden 15 15 15
Swaziland 18 Illegal Illegal
Switzerland 16 16 16
Syria 13/15 Illegal Illegal
Tajikistan 17 ? 17
Tanzania 18 Illegal Illegal
Thailand14 15/18 15/18 15/18
Togo 14 Illegal Illegal
Tonga15 16/Illegal Illegal 16
Trinidad & Tobago 16 Illegal Illegal
Tunisia 20 Illegal Illegal
Turkey 18 18 18
Turkmenistan 16 Illegal 16
Tuvalu ? Illegal ?
Uganda 18 Illegal 18
Ukraine 16 16 16
United Arab Emirates 18/Married Illegal Illegal
Uzbekistan 16 Illegal 16
Uruguay 15 15 15
Vanuatu 15 18 18
Venezuela 16 16 16
Vietnam 18 18 18
Western Samoa 16 Illegal Illegal
Yemen Must be married Illegal Illegal
Zambia ? Illegal ?
Zimbabwe 12/16 Illegal 12/16
United Kingdom England, Scotland, Wales Jersey, Isle of Man 16 16 16
United Kingdom Northern Ireland 17 17 17
United Kingdom Guernsey and Gibraltar 16 18 16
USA Alabama 16 16 16
USA Alaska 16 16 16
USA Arizona 18 18
18
USA Arkansas16 14/16 14/16 14/16
USA California 18 18 18
USA Colorado16 15/17 15/17 15/17
USA Connecticut 16 16 16
USA D.C. 16 16 16
USA Delaware16 16/18 16/18 16/18
USA Florida16 16/18 16/18 16/18
USA Georgia 16 16 16
USA Hawaii 16 16 16
USA Idaho 18 18 18
USA Illinois 17 17 17
USA Indiana16 14/16 14/16 14/16
USA Iowa16 14/16 14/16 14/16
USA Kansas 16 16 16
USA Kentucky 16 16 16
USA Louisiana16 17 17 17
USA Maine 16 16 16
USA Maryland 16 16 16
USA Massachusetts 16 16 16
USA Michigan 16 16 16
USA Minnesota 16 16 16
USA Mississippi 16 16 16
USA Missouri 17 17 17
USA Montana 16 16 16
USA Nebraska 17 17 17
USA Nevada 16 16 16
USA New Hampshire 16 16 16
USA New Jersey 16 16 16
USA New Mexico 17 17 17
USA New York16 15/17 15/17 15/17
USA North Carolina16 16 16 16
USA North Dakota 18 18 18
USA Ohio 16 16 16
USA Oklahoma 16 16 16
USA Oregon 18 18 18
USA Pennsylvania 16 16 16
USA Rhode Island 16 16 16
USA South Carolina 16 16 16
USA South Dakota 16 16 16
USA Tennessee 18 18 18
USA Texas16 17 17 17
USA Utah16 16/18 16/18 16/18
USA Vermont 16 16 16
USA Virginia 18 18 18
USA Washington16 16/18 16/18 16/18
USA West Virginia 16 16 16
USA Wisconsin 18 18 18
USA Wyoming 16 16 16
USA Traveling citizens17 12/16 12/16 12/16
USA Military personnel18 16 Illegal Illegal
Average age* 16 16 16
General notes

If more than one age is given then the law within that country or state varies according to region or circumstances. In particular, some countries have regional laws that may overrule the federal law. Also in some cases the age of consent is lower when partners are of a similar age. Where the symbol ? is used, information is either incomplete or unavailable.

In some countries the age of consent is higher for those taking part in commercial sex. In many countries the age of consent is higher when one partner is in a position of trust with regard to the other, or when one partner takes advantage of the other’s immaturity. Age of consent laws often do not apply when the partners are married.

In this table, male-female sex is defined as vaginal or anal sex, and male-male sex is defined as anal sex. Other sexual activities may be legal at a lower age.

* The average age of consent does not include countries where it is illegal.
Footnotes

1. In Queensland, the legal age of consent for anal intercourse is 18 (regardless of gender), while for vaginal intercourse it is 16.
2. Although the Austrian age of consent is basically 14, it is illegal to have sex with someone under 16 by “exploiting their lack of maturity”.
3. In Brazil, authorities may not choose to prosecute if the younger partner is aged 14 to 17 and does not lodge a complaint.
4. In Canada, unmarried persons under 18 cannot legally consent to anal sex according to national law, although provincial laws may vary.
5. In Finland, sex with someone under 16 is not deemed sexual abuse of a child if “there is no great difference in the ages or the mental and physical maturity of the persons involved.” Similarly in Norway, a prison sentence may not be imposed “if those who have committed the act of indecency are about equal in age and development.” In both countries, lesser punishments may nevertheless be imposed.
6. In Germany, sexual intercourse is legal from the age of 14 in most cases. An exception is when the older partner is aged over 18 and is “exploiting a coercive situation” or offering compensation, in which case the younger partner must be over 16. In addition, it is illegal for someone aged over 21 to have sex with someone under 16 if they “exploit the victim’s lack of capacity for sexual self-determination”.
7. India’s age of consent for heterosexual sex is 16 except in Manipur, where it is 14. If the partners are married then a lower age of consent applies (13 in Manipur and 15 elsewhere). A law banning “carnal intercourse against the order of nature” may be used to prosecute people for having anal or oral sex, though prosecutions are rare.
8. Although the age of sexual consent in Japan is 13 years of age, prefecture law usually overrides federal law, raising the age up to 18.
9. In Mexico the federal law varies according to the age gap between partners and is often overruled by regional laws.
10. In Papua New Guinea, anal sex is illegal in all cases. The age of consent for vaginal sex is 16 for females and 14 for males.
11. Paraguay sets the age of consent at 14 within marriage and 16 outside of marriage.
12. The age of sexual consent in the Philippines is 12 for all, but contacts with minors (under 18) are an offence if the minor consents to the act for money, gain or any other remuneration or as the result of an influence of any adult person.
13. In Portugal it is illegal to perform a sexual act with a minor between 14 and 16 years old “by taking advantage of their inexperience”.
14. Although Thailand’s age of consent is usually said to be 15, the laws can be interpreted to allow prosecution for sex with someone under 18.
15. Anal sex is illegal in Tonga regardless of age and gender.
16. In some U.S. states a lower age applies when the age gap between partners is small, or when the older partner is below a certain age (usually 18 or 21).
17. It is illegal for an American citizen or resident to have sex in another country with someone aged under 16, unless the age difference is less than 4 years, in which case the minimum age is 12.
18. Under some circumstances it is possible for members of the U.S. military to also be charged under state laws.

Disclaimer

We rely on the help of our readers to keep this table as accurate and up-to-date as possible. If you know that the age of consent in your country differs from that given above, and if you can supply good references to prove it, then please contact us. Please note that AVERT will not answer personal enquiries about age of consent.

This page is intended for educational purposes only and should not be used to inform personal decisions. If you are in any doubt about the age of consent law in your region then please seek expert legal advice.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: