Family Profile No. 20, 2015
Author: Krista K. Payne
Marriage Rates in U.S.
As of 2014, the U.S. marriage rate (the number of marriages per 1,000 unmarried women 15 years and older) has been stable since 2010--remaining at a 40-year low.
In 2014, about 3.2 % of unmarried women aged 15 and older got married. That is, roughly 32 marriages per 1,000 unmarried women. From 2013 to 2014, the marriage rate only increased from 31.2 to 31.9 (FP-14-15).
Five Highest and Lowest Divorce Rates, 2014
Utah continues to have the highest marriage rate with 59 per 1,000 unmarried women over the age of 15 marrying in 2014. That is, roughly 5.9% of unmarried women were married in 2014.
Rhode Island continues to have the lowest marriage rate in the United States. In Rhode Island, about 24 per 1,000 unmarried women over the age of 15 got married in 2014. In other words, 2.4% of unmarried women wed in that year.
Table 1. Women's Highest and Lowest Marriage Rates
State Changes in Rankings, 2013-2014
Two out of the five states with the highest marriage rates in 2014 (Utah and Oklahoma) were also in the top five in 2013.
New York and Rhode Island are the only two states in the bottom five in both 2013 and 2014.
Slightly more than half (57%) of states experienced an increase in their marriage rates between 2013 and 2014. The three states with the greatest increases are Alaska (+40.7 %), Wyoming (+30.3 %), and Washington D.C. (+28.7%).
The large 2014 increase in Alaska comes after it experienced one of the largest marriage rate decreases from 2011 to 2013.
Three states had virtually unchanged marriage rates since 2013. These stable states are North Carolina (32.9), Illinois (28.1), and Massachusetts (25.9).
Nearly two-fifths (37%) of states had declining marriage rates. The largest decreases occurred in North Dakota (-21.8 %), South Dakota (-11.57 %), and Hawaii (-10.19 %).
North Dakota had the second largest marriage rate in 2013 (49.2), but experienced the largest decrease in 2014 (-21.8%) dropping it to 11th overall.
Table 2. Geographic Variation of Women's Marriage Rate Among States, 2014
Clarke, S. C. (1995). Advance Report of Final Marriage Statistics, 1989 and 1990. Monthly Vital Statistics Report, 43(12).
National Center for Health Statistics. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/datalmvsr/supp/mv43_ 12s.pdf
National Center for Health Statistics (1974). Summary Report Final Marriage Statistics, 1970. Monthly Vital Statistics Report, 23(2) Supp. 1. U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/mvsr/supp/mv23_02s1acc.pdf
National Center for Health Statistics (1983). Advance Report of Final Marriage Statistics, 1980. Monthly Vital Statistics Report, 32(5) Supp. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/mvsr/supp/mv32_05s.pdf
National Center for Health Statistics (2001 ). Births, Marriages, Divorces, and Deaths: Provisional Data for January-December, 2000.
National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 49, No. 6, Associated Table 3. Department of Health & Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr49/49 _ 06 _ 12 _ 03.pdf
Payne, K. K. (2014). Marriage Rate in the U.S., 2013 (FP-14-15). National Center for Family & Marriage Research. https://www.bgsu.edu/content/dam/BGSU/college-of-arts-and-sciences/NCFMR/documents/FP/FP-14-15-marriage-rate-2013.pdf
Wu, H. (2015). Marriage Rate in the U.S.: Geographic Variation, 2014 (FP-15-20). National Center for Family & Marriage Research.