U.S. Marriage and Divorce Trend Data Study

By: Jason Lee | Updated 2021

Finding love may be tough, but is staying with someone even tougher? In the world of social media, technology, and the need for instant gratification, are love and marriage winning out or are disdain and divorce running rampant?

In this data study, our expert team of reviewers set out to answer several key questions.

  • Are more or fewer people getting married these days nationally and by state?
  • Is the divorce rate going up or down nationally and by state?
  • Which states are the strongest for marriage? Which are the weakest?

If you’re ready to see where your state ranks, let’s get into the data and extract some meaningful conclusions.

Key Takeaways from the Study

  • The national marriage rate in the U.S. has been on a steady decline since 2016.
  • The number of marriages in the U.S. dropped by 5.49% from 2018 to 2019.
  • The divorce rate in the U.S. has been dropping since 2011.
  • In 2019, there were 746,971 divorces or annulments in the U.S.
  • Nevada has the highest marriage rate and the highest divorce rate (2019), despite seeing a 61.58% decrease in marriages and a 57.88% decrease in divorces from 2000 to 2019.
  • Illinois has the lowest divorce rate by state (1.3 people per 1,000)
  • The District of Columbia has seen the highest increase in marriages from 2000 to 2019, up 52.42%.
  • Texas has the lowest marriage rate in the country (2019).
Vintage Marriage Post Card

Table of Contents:

National Marriage and Divorce Rates in the United States

  • The marriage rate in the U.S. has been steadily declining since 2016.
  • The divorce rate in the U.S. has been declining since 2011.

On a national level, fewer people are getting married every year since 2016. From 2018 to 2019, the number of marriages in the U.S. dropped by 5.49% from 2,132,853 to 2,015,603. This drop occurred while the population in the U.S. also increased by 0.327%.

Number of Marriages and Marriage Rate: U.S., 2000-2019

YearMarriagesPopulationRate per 1,000 total population
20192,015,603328,239,5236.1
20182,132,853327,167,4346.5
20172,236,496325,719,1786.9
20162,251,411323,127,5137.0
20152,221,579321,418,8206.9
20142,140,272308,759,7136.9
20132,081,301306,136,6726.8
20122,131,000313,914,0406.8
20112,118,000311,591,9176.8
20102,096,000308,745,5386.8
20092,080,000306,771,5296.8
20082,157,000304,093,9667.1
20072,197,000301,231,2077.3
20062,193,000294,077,2477.5
20052,249,000295,516,5997.6
20042,279,000292,805,2987.8
20032,245,000290,107,9337.7
20022,290,000287,625,1938.0
20012,326,000284,968,9558.2
20002,315,000281,421,9068.2

Divorce Trends in the U.S. (Nationally)

On the other side of the aisle, divorce rates have also been falling in the United States since around 2011. In that year, the divorce rate was 3.6 people per 1,000 of the total population (the same rate as 2010). In 2019, the rate dropped to a 20-year low of 2.7 people per 1,000 of the total population. From 2018 to 2019, the number dropped by 4.48% from 782,038 to 746,971.

Provisional Number of Divorces and Annulments and rate: U.S., 2000-2019

YearDivorces & AnnulmentsPopulationRate per 1,000 total population
2019746,971272,842,7482.7
2018782,038271,791,4132.9
2017787,251270,423,4932.9
2016776,288257,904,5483.0
2015800,909258,518,2653.1
2014813,862256,483,6243.2
2013832,157254,408,8153.3
2012851,000248,041,9863.4
2011877,000246,273,3663.6
2010872,000244,122,5293.6
2009840,000242,610,5613.5
2008844,000240,545,1633.5
2007856,000238,352,8503.6
2006872,000236,094,2773.7
2005847,000233,495,1633.6
2004879,000236,402,6563.7
2003927,000243,902,0903.8
2002955,000243,108,3033.9
2001940,000236,416,7624.0
2000944,000233,550,1434.0

Marriage and Divorce Rates by State

While looking at the data from a national level is great to see overarching trends, it really gets interesting when you start to look at it by state level. This information does a lot to tell you how each state values the covenant of marriage and how well they’re able to preserve that.

In the next few sections, we’re going to look at which states have the highest and lowest prevalence of marriage and divorce, and we’re also going to look at which states are trending in the right or the wrong direction.

Highest Marriage Rates by State

  1. Nevada (25.9 people per 1,000 total population)
  2. Hawaii
  3. Arkansas
  4. Utah
  5. Montana
Famous Las Vegas Strip Skyline at Sunset. Vegas Strip Facing West. Nevada, USA.

Lowest Marriage Rates by State

  1. Texas (4.9 people per 1,000 total population)
  2. Delaware
  3. Massachusetts
  4. Wisconsin
  5. Connecticut
A flag of Texas with a grunge texture

All Marriage Rates by State (2019)

RankStateRate per 1,000 total population
1Nevada25.9
2Hawaii14.2
3Arkansas8.4
4Utah8.1
5Montana7.9
6District of Columbia7.8
7Vermont7.7
8Tennessee7.5
9Idaho7.4
10Colorado7.3
11New York7.2
12Florida7.1
13Maine7.1
14Wyoming7.0
15Alabama6.7
16New Hampshire6.6
17Alaska6.5
18Oklahoma6.3
19South Carolina6.3
2Kentucky6.3
21North Carolina6.2
22Indiana6.2
23Rhode Island6.1
24South Dakota6.1
25Virginia6.1
26Georgia6.0
27Mississippi6.0
28Oregon6.0
29New Mexico6.0
30West Virginia6.0
31Missouri6.0
32Washington5.7
33California5.7
34Maryland5.6
35Nebraska5.5
36North Dakota5.4
37Iowa5.4
38Pennsylvania5.4
39Kansas5.3
40Ohio5.3
41Arizona5.3
42New Jersey5.2
43Michigan5.2
44Illinois5.2
45Louisiana5.1
46Minnesota5.1
47Connecticut5.0
48Wisconsin5.0
49Massachusetts5.0
50Delaware5.0
51Texas4.9

Highest Divorce Rates by State

  1. Nevada (4.2 people per 1,000 total population)
  2. Arkansas
  3. Oklahoma
  4. Idaho
  5. Wyoming
Famous Las Vegas Strip Skyline at Sunset. Vegas Strip Facing West. Nevada, USA.

The trophy that no one wants to win for the highest divorce rate by state (2019) goes to Nevada. Surprisingly, Nevada is well known as the marriage capital of the world. Maybe the martinis coupled with drive-thru marriage venues isn’t the best of ideas?


Lowest Divorce Rates by State

  1. Illinois (1.3 people per 1,000 total population)
  2. Massachusetts
  3. Texas
  4. Iowa
  5. Georgia
Downtown Chicago skyline at nights

Congrats to Illinois for having the lowest divorce rate in the nation (outside of the states that didn’t report data). What’s interesting is that Texas had the third lowest divorce rate but also had the lowest marriage rate too. Does that mean the Lone Star State only gets committed when they mean it? You can interpret the data as you please.


All Divorce Rates by State

RankStateRate per 1,000 total population
1Nevada4.2
2Arkansas4.0
3Oklahoma3.9
4Idaho3.9
5Wyoming3.8
6Alaska3.6
7West Virginia3.6
8Alabama3.6
9Utah3.5
10Florida3.5
11Tennessee3.5
12Kentucky3.4
13Colorado3.3
14Oregon3.2
15North Carolina3.1
16New Hampshire3.1
17Maine3.0
18Montana3.0
19Arizona2.9
20Delaware2.9
21Virginia2.9
22New York2.9
23Missouri2.9
24Washington2.8
25Vermont2.8
26Ohio2.8
27Rhode Island2.7
28Connecticut2.7
29Nebraska2.7
30Maryland2.7
31Mississippi2.6
32South Dakota2.6
33South Carolina2.6
34Pennsylvania2.6
35New Jersey2.5
36North Dakota2.5
37District of Columbia2.4
38Louisiana2.4
39Wisconsin2.3
40Michigan2.3
41Kansas2.3
42Georgia2.3
43Iowa2.3
44Texas2.1
45Massachusetts1.5
46Illinois1.3
47California---
48Hawaii---
49Indiana---
50Minnesota---
51New Mexico---

Highest Marriage Rate Increase by State by Percentage (2000 to 2019)

  1. District of Columbia (Up 52.42%)
  2. Montana
  3. New York
  4. Oklahoma
  5. Mississippi
Washington, D.C. city skyline at twilight

Surprisingly, only two states or districts during this time period saw an increase in marriage rates—District of Columbia and Montana. The other 49 states all saw a decrease in the rate throughout the past two decades.


Highest Marriage Rate Decrease by State by Percentage (2000 to 2019)

  1. Nevada (Down 61.58%)
  2. Tennessee
  3. Texas
  4. Arkansas
  5. Louisiana
Famous Las Vegas Strip Skyline at Sunset. Vegas Strip Facing West. Nevada, USA.

So much for the wedding capital of the world? Not so fast. Even with the huge drop off of marriages over the past two decades, Nevada still takes the cake for most marriages. What will be interesting to see is if the trend continues and Nevada loses that title. Although, at 25.9 marriages per 1,000 people, second place has a lot of catching up to do (Hawaii at 14.2 marriages per 1,000 people).


All Marriage Rate Changes by State

RankState2000 Rate2019 RateAbsolute Change% Change
1Nevada67.425.9-41.5-61.58%
2Tennessee13.17.5-5.6-42.83%
3Texas8.44.9-3.5-42.05%
4Arkansas14.38.4-5.9-41.42%
5Louisiana8.15.1-3.0-37.10%
6Idaho11.07.4-3.6-32.82%
7South Carolina9.36.3-3.0-32.39%
8Alabama9.96.7-3.2-32.35%
9Hawaii20.814.2-6.6-31.86%
10Kentucky9.06.3-2.7-30.38%
11South Dakota8.86.1-2.7-30.17%
12Virginia8.66.1-2.5-28.74%
13Kansas7.35.3-2.0-26.83%
14Nebraska7.55.5-2.0-26.69%
15Wyoming9.57.0-2.5-26.23%
16West Virginia8.16.0-2.1-26.19%
17Florida9.47.1-2.3-24.79%
18New Mexico7.96.0-1.9-24.29%
19Ohio7.05.3-1.7-23.87%
20Iowa7.05.4-1.6-22.80%
21Delaware6.45.0-1.4-22.63%
22Utah10.48.1-2.3-22.52%
23Minnesota6.55.1-1.4-21.94%
24Indiana7.96.2-1.7-21.82%
25Illinois6.65.2-1.4-21.78%
26Alaska8.36.5-1.8-21.54%
27Maryland7.15.6-1.5-21.23%
28Vermont9.87.7-2.1-21.16%
29Rhode Island7.86.1-1.7-21.15%
30Arizona6.75.3-1.4-20.85%
31Michigan6.55.2-1.3-20.25%
32North Dakota6.85.4-1.4-20.24%
33Wisconsin6.35.0-1.3-20.04%
34New Hampshire8.36.6-1.7-20.03%
35North Carolina7.76.2-1.5-19.72%
36Missouri7.36.0-1.3-18.23%
37Maine8.47.1-1.3-16.03%
38Oregon7.16.0-1.1-15.61%
39Massachusetts5.95.0-0.9-14.93%
40New Jersey6.05.2-0.8-13.55%
41Washington6.55.7-0.8-11.55%
42Connecticut5.75.0-0.7-11.43%
43Colorado8.07.3-0.7-9.08%
44California6.25.7-0.5-7.69%
45Georgia6.56.0-0.5-7.10%
46Pennsylvania5.75.4-0.3-6.11%
47Mississippi6.46.0-0.4-5.96%
48Oklahoma6.56.3-0.2-2.51%
49New York7.37.2-0.1-1.14%
50Montana7.17.90.811.08%
51District of Columbia5.17.82.752.42%

Highest Divorce Rate Increase by State by Percentage (2000 to 2019)

No states or districts saw an increase in divorce rates over this time period. Here are the top five states or districts that saw the lowest decrease in rates.

  1. New York (Down 3.58%)
  2. Rhode Island
  3. Alaska
  4. New Jersey
  5. Pennsylvania
New York City aerial cityscape.

Highest Divorce Rate Decrease by State by Percentage (2000 to 2019)

  1. Illinois (Down -59.58%)
  2. Nevada
  3. Mississippi
  4. Texas
  5. Massachusetts
Downtown Chicago skyline at nights

All Divorce Rate Changes by State

RankState2000 Rate2019 RateAbsolute Change% Change
1New York3.02.9-0.1-3.58%
2Rhode Island2.92.7-0.2-5.51%
3Alaska3.93.6-0.3-6.70%
4New Jersey3.02.5-0.5-16.03%
5Pennsylvania3.12.6-0.5-16.89%
6Connecticut3.32.7-0.6-18.47%
7Utah4.33.5-0.8-18.58%
8Maryland3.32.7-0.6-19.34%
9District of Columbia3.22.4-0.8-24.28%
10South Dakota3.52.6-0.9-25.07%
11Delaware3.92.9-1.0-25.24%
12North Dakota3.42.5-0.9-27.02%
13Wisconsin3.22.3-0.9-27.17%
14Nebraska3.72.7-1.0-28.00%
15Montana4.23.0-1.2-28.62%
16West Virginia5.13.6-1.5-29.82%
17Idaho5.53.9-1.6-29.86%
18Colorado4.73.3-1.4-29.98%
19North Carolina4.53.1-1.4-30.37%
20Georgia3.32.3-1.0-30.69%
21Vermont4.12.8-1.3-31.13%
22Iowa3.32.3-1.0-31.55%
23Florida5.13.5-1.6-31.59%
24South Carolina3.82.6-1.2-31.91%
25Virginia4.32.9-1.4-32.52%
26Kentucky5.13.4-1.7-32.68%
27Oregon4.83.2-1.6-33.51%
28Ohio4.22.8-1.4-34.08%
29Wyoming5.83.8-2.0-34.49%
30Alabama5.53.6-1.9-35.04%
31Kansas3.62.3-1.3-35.32%
32Missouri4.52.9-1.6-35.77%
33New Hampshire4.83.1-1.7-35.99%
34Arizona4.62.9-1.7-36.61%
35Arkansas6.44.0-2.4-37.23%
36Washington4.62.8-1.8-38.16%
37Maine5.03.0-2.0-39.34%
38Michigan3.92.3-1.6-40.29%
39Tennessee5.93.5-2.4-40.88%
40Massachusetts2.51.5-1.0-41.47%
41Texas4.02.1-1.9-47.10%
42Mississippi5.02.6-2.4-47.49%
43Nevada9.94.2-5.7-57.88%
44Illinois3.21.3-1.9-59.58%
45California
46Hawaii
47Indiana
48Louisiana
49Minnesota
50New Mexico
51Oklahoma

Marriages by State by Percentage of the Population

Curious which states have the highest or lowest percentage of their population married? Here’s the data you’re looking for.

Highest Percentage Married by State (2020)

  1. Utah (56.7%)
  2. Wyoming
  3. Idaho
  4. Nebraska
  5. South Dakota
Photograph taken in the evening of the downtown Salt Lake City, Utah area. The photograph appears to be taken from a rooftop and features the tall downtown buildings and all of their evening lights.

Lowest Percentage Married by State (2020)

  1. District of Columbia (31.6%)
  2. New Mexico
  3. Rhode Island
  4. Louisiana
  5. Mississippi
Washington, D.C. city skyline at twilight

All Percentages Married by State (2020)

RankStateMarried   
1Utah56.7%
2Wyoming56.6%
3Idaho55.2%
4Nebraska53.9%
5South Dakota53.9%
6Kansas53.1%
7Iowa52.6%
8North Dakota52.6%
9Montana52.1%
10Colorado52.0%
11Minnesota51.9%
12New Hampshire51.9%
13Washington51.9%
14New Jersey51.5%
15West Virginia51.5%
16Virginia51.4%
17Alaska51.2%
18Tennessee51.1%
19Missouri50.9%
20Kentucky50.8%
21Wisconsin50.7%
22Arkansas50.6%
23Texas50.6%
24North Carolina50.5%
25Oklahoma50.5%
26Hawaii50.3%
27Maine50.3%
28South Carolina49.8%
29Alabama49.7%
30Oregon49.6%
31Pennsylvania49.4%
32Vermont49.4%
33Indiana48.9%
34Delaware48.8%
35Ohio48.7%
36Illinois48.6%
37Arizona48.5%
38Georgia48.5%
39Maryland48.5%
40California48.4%
41Michigan48.3%
42Connecticut48.0%
43Florida47.9%
44Massachusetts47.9%
45Nevada47.7%
46New York47.1%
47Mississippi46.7%
48Louisiana45.1%
49Rhode Island44.5%
50New Mexico44.3%
51District of Columbia31.6%

Written By: Jason Lee

Jason Lee is a data analyst with a passion for studying online dating, relationships, personal growth, healthcare, and finance. In 2008, Jason earned a Bachelors of Science from the University of Florida, where he studied business and finance and taught interpersonal communication.

His work has been featured in the likes of The USA Today, MSN, The Motley Fool, Net Health, and The Simple Dollar. As a business owner, relationship strategist, dating coach, and officer in the U.S. military, Jason enjoys sharing his unique knowledge base with the rest of the world.