The phrase “till death do us part” has become increasingly rare in the United States over the past decade, with the national marriage rate dropping 8% since 2011.
But while fewer people are getting married, Utah stands out as the state that sticks around the longest. Beehive State ranks as the state with both the highest percentage of married couples and the lowest percentage of divorces, according to a new analysis of state and federal statistics.
In the 10-year period between 2011 and 2021, Utah was the only state to have both an increase in new marriages, up 7%, and an increase in divorces, which were up 5%. , according to comparisons published by QuoteWizard, an online site. insurance comparison platform operated by Lending Tree.
Nationally, the number of people getting married fell by 8% during this period, while divorces also fell, falling by 17%, according to the analysis.
“The number of people getting married and divorcing is changing particularly rapidly in some states,” according to QuoteWizard. “The marriage rate has dropped 20% in three states over the past decade. The divorce rate, however, has seen an even bigger drop. For example, divorces have dropped 32% in Massachusetts since 2011 .”
For most of the 21st century, Utah has followed the national trend of fewer people getting married.
But in 2021, as weddings nationwide rebounded after many were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of weddings actually increased.
Utah’s marriage rate fell from 8.4 per 1,000 population in 2020 to 9.1 in 2021, according to the National Vital Statistics System.
Wedding Report, an Arizona-based market research firm, reported earlier this month that weddings had jumped across the country, although things are expected to be “better” for 2023. closer to normal,” said Shane McMurray, CEO of Wedding Report.
With a likely decline due to factors including inflation, a cooling economy and “marriage burnout” after a busy 2022 season, 2023 numbers are set to fall back into what had been a decades-long trend. , McMurray said.
Marriage abandonment COVID-19
There should be enough space to tick up. The national marriage rate in 2020 was just 5.1 per 1,000 people, the lowest level in 121 years. In raw numbers, that meant about 300,000 fewer marriages in 2020 than would otherwise be expected.
In 2021, with figures going back to 6 per 1,000 people, there were around 2 million married couples.
Falling marriage rates
However, the number of people getting married remains in long-term decline.
According to the most recent statistics from the US Census Bureau, about one in three adults has never married, and the annual marriage rate has fallen from 9.8 marriages per 1,000 people in the 1990s to about six per 1,000 in 2021.
In Utah, that number has always been above national averages, but it has also declined, from 11.2 marriages per 1,000 people in 1990 to just eight in 2019, according to the Utah Office of Vital Records.
Moreover, the link between marriage and income has become more pronounced. The more money a person makes, the more likely they are to be married, with men who earn more than $100,000 a year getting married 78% of the time, making them by far the most likely demographic to be married. married, according to the QuoteWizard report. . This number drops below 50% for men earning less than $40,000 per year.
For women, the figures are slightly different, with women more likely to be married at lower income levels. Yet 66% of women earning more than $100,000 were married, compared to 46% of women earning less than $40,000.
“The reasons why marriage and divorce rates change are complex,” according to the authors of the QuoteWizard report. “In general, people marry later in life. There is also less societal emphasis on marriage and a higher financial cost in a divorce.”