Current Marriage Statistics of the United States of America


Marriage is the process by which two people who love each other make their relationship public, official, and permanent. The institution of marriage has undergone significant changes in recent years in the United States. Let’s find out the latest marriage trends in the United States and its overall impact in the society.

Provisional number of marriages and its rate: United States, 2000-2010

Year Marriages Population Rate per 1,000 total population
2010 2,096,000 308,745,538 6.8
2009 2,080,000 306,771,529 6.8
2008 2,157,000 304,093,966 7.1
2007 2,197,000 301,231,207 7.3
2006 2,193,000 294,077,247 7.5
2005 2,249,000 295,516,599 7.6
2004 2,279,000 292,805,298 7.8
2003 2,245,000 290,107,933 7.7
2002 2,290,000 287,625,193 8.0
2001 2,326,000 284,968,955 8.2
2000 2,315,000 281,421,906 8.2

Note: Rates for 2001-2009 have been revised and are based on intercensal population estimates from the 2000 and 2010 censuses. Populations for 2010 rates are based on the 2010 census.
Source: CDC/NCHS National Vital Statistics System.

Number of newly Married Adults 2009 – 2010

2009 2010 Change in Percentage
All 4,447,595 4,227,655 -4.9
18-24 age group 1,015,615 888,429 -12.5
25-34 age group 1,920,988 1,864,512 -2.9
35-44 age groups 764,349 774,195 1.3
44 + age group 746,643 700,519 -6.2
Race/Ethnicity
White 2,917,958 2,723,824 -6.7
Hispanic 711,293 719,213 1.1
Black 467,362 436,829 -6.5
Asian 236,395 244,606 3.5
Education
HS or Less 1,624,247 1,490,051 -8.3
Some College 1,492,368 1,405,677 -5.8
College + 1,330,980 1,331,927 0.1

Note: This research is based on adults aged 18 and older. ‘Newly married’ refers to those who got married in the past 12 months. Whites, Blacks and Asians include non-Hispanics. Hispanics are of any race. Asians include pacific Islanders.

Source: Pew Research center analysis of American Community Survey 2009-2010.

As per latest US statistics related to marriage, a record-low 51 percent of adults aged 18 and older in the United States were married in 2010, compared with 72 percent in 1960. This shocking data was released on a latest research work done by Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census data. The latest 51 percent marriage rate is an all-time record low. Between 2009 and 2010 alone, the number of marriages has dropped by 5 percent. This drastic drop in the rate in one year time period may or may not be related to the sour economy.

The decline in the number of newly married adults from 4.4 million in 2009 to 4.2 million in 2010 was shared among all age groups but was especially sharp for the youngest adults.

Further, as per this research, the most dramatic decline in marriage has occurred among adults aged between 18 years to 29 years of age. Just 20 percent of them were married last year.In 1960, 72% of all adults under the age group of 18 and older were married. This time the median age at first marriage is also at its highest. The median age during first marriage is 26.5 years for women and 28.7 years for men. Also over the past 50 years, the median age at first marriage has risen by about six years for both women and men.

The decline in marriage rate in the whole of United States has been due to an increase in cohabitation, single-person households and single parenthood. If current trends continue, the percentage of U.S. adults who are currently married will fall down more. This shocking US statistics related to marriage rate is a matter of high concern.

New Marriage Rate, 2009 – 2010
Number of newly married per 1000 unmarried/newly married adults

2009 2010 Change in Percentage
All 40.1 37.4 -2.7
18-24 age group 35.8 30.8 -5.0
25-34 age group 81.5 79.0 -2.5
35-44 age groups 51.3 51.6 0.3
44 + age group 17.0 15.3 -1.7
Race/Ethnicity
White 41.4 38.7 -2.7
Hispanic 45.3 42.4 -2.9
Black 26.5 24.2 -2.3
Asian 56.1 51.9 -4.2
Education
HS or Less 31.0 28.2 -2.8
Some College 40.7 37.4 -5.8
College + 60.8 58.9 -1.9

Note: this research is based on adults aged 18 and older. ‘Newly married’ refers to this who married in the past 12 months. Whites, Blacks and Asians include non-Hispanics. Hispanics are of any race. Asians include pacific Islanders.

Source: Pew Research center analysis of American Community Survey 2009-2010.

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By race and ethnic group, the share who had ever married was similar for whites, blacks and Hispanics in 1960, but the decline in marriage has been particularly severe for African Americans. In 2010, only 55% of black adults had ever married, compared with 64% of Hispanics and 76% of whites. The reason behind this difference can be explained by the older age structure of the white population.

Another important thing to notice in this report is that the overall marriage rate has declined far less for adults with college educations as compared to amongst the less educated. This has resulted in the increase in the median age at first marriage as more and more people tend to marry later in life. By education level, the likelihood of having ever been married has declined for all groups, but most sharply for the least educated. Among adults without a high school diploma, 69% had ever been married in 2010, compared with 88% in 1960. Among adults with college degrees, 78% had ever been married in 2010, compared with 82% in 1960.

For complete analysis on current marriage rate in the United States, click here.

For state wise marriage rate details, click here

To understand men, women and new economics of marriage, click here

Some key points:

  • The ratio of new marriages to divorces is 2 to 1 (Marriages and Divorces).
  • Total Marriages showed a sharp drop in 1998 and after a brief rebound, continued to trend down.
  • The population of unmarried women will soon surpass the number of married women. This indicates a rejection of the Divine Institution of Marriage by the population.
  • The number of Unmarried Couple Households (live-in) is increasing steadily.
  • Children living with only one parent have increased from 9% in 1960 to 27% in 2009.Of those 87% of the children live with the mother.
  • Previous marriage experience plays a big role in whether people want to get married (again) or not.

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To conclude, marriage rate in the United States is not at all good. Government must take some step to make the Americans have faith in the institution of marriage. Marriage education is effective in promoting marital quality and stability. So, there should be marriage education programs for couples to make them understand the importance of marriage for them as well as for the society.


5 Responses to “Current Marriage Statistics of the United States of America”

  1. Lisa Levis says:

    I got great information on statistics. It is great survey report and very sad to know that marriage rate is not good at all as divorce is also increasing year by year as you have mention it’s ratio is 2:1. Definitely I am agree with you that government should take some steps towards marriage.

  2. Sacornus says:

    This is excellent information, thank you writer for it. As a unmarried woman, I look at these statistic and remember when my grandmother told me that I have to get married by my early 30s or I won’t be able to find a decent man.

    Going on 28, I know that my generation will having available singles of all walks of life for decades, if not more. No rush to get married here, maybe I’ll wait for a man who learned a lesson not to go for a girl with a good figure and a empty skull. ;)

  3. skool of marriage says:

    Its pathetic looking at this statistics and the bitter truth is the rate of divorce is getting higher, there’s the need for proper schooling in the area of marriage. Ff @skoolofmarriage on twitter

  4. Sociologist in CO says:

    Marriage education has never been mentioned in the many studies and reports I have read on marriage, divorce and family. I think it is a fantastic idea. Too many people get married for the wrong reasons, or are too young at the time of marriage and often have unrealistic expectations. If married couples realize that marriage is hard and even harder to stay together and grow together, as opposed to unrealistic expectation often portrayed in movies and the media, they will be more willing to stay together and work things out. It may sound simplistic but it is a start. Age at time of marriage as well as socioeconomic status and education all are variables on the likelihood of divorce. The longer one waits for marriage the more likely the success of the marriage as well as higher socioeconomic status and education. Do I believe that institution of marriage is failing? No. But I believe that meaning or marriage must be reexamined.

  5. Sara says:

    To the one(s) who commented saying that the government needs to take steps toward making marriage better, I say: Good thought, but umm NO! That’s the last thing we need. The government uses “helping better the nation” as a way to gain more money, power, and control, so that’s really a terrible idea even tho it sounds like it might be reasonable. What we really need is “the people” and “the church” doing something about marriage. The institution of marriage started because God created it, so we should look to God in order to fix what we’ve destroyed, not look to the government. The government is not God, and we should NEVER ask for it to be our God or an answer to our problems. Too many times I hear people cry out to the government instead of God..one of these days those same people are going to cry out to God because the government betrayed them. Look at history. It has happened quite a few times around the world, and it can and will happen here and now or in the future.

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