Marriage Rates Are Up After the COVID Pandemic, New CDC Data Shows

The new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also reveals which five states have the highest marriage rates

<p>Getty</p> A stock image of a couple cutting a wedding cake


A stock image of a couple cutting a wedding cake

Marriage rates have gone up in the years since the COVID pandemic began, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

On Friday, the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics released data which revealed that marriages in the U.S. have been steadily increasing since the pandemic put a stop to many weddings in 2020. According to the data, the number of marriages jumped from 5.1 per 1,000 people in 2020 to 6.2 by 2022, the highest rate observed since 2018.

This marks a slight recovery in the marriage rate, the organization said — for the last 20 years, the U.S. saw about seven to eight marriages per capita in a year. It also marks an increase of 4% from 2021.

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The number varied significantly by state, too. Per the report, 36 states found that their 2022 marriage rates were the same or higher than they were before the pandemic in 2019, and 12 states saw a decline in marriages.

Additionally, the data revealed which five states had the highest marriage rates in 2022. At No. 5, Arkansas saw a rate of 7.9 per capita. Utah and Montana tied for fourth place with 9.9 per capita, followed by Hawaii at 14.4 per capita. Nevada maintained its spot as the No. 1 state for marriages with 25.9 per 1,000 people.

In total, there were more than 2,065,000 marriages in 2022, marking the first time the U.S. hit the 2 million mark since 2019.

In addition, the new data found that divorce rates are going down.

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As a part of what the CDC called a “longstanding downward trend” over the past two decades, the rates of married couples splitting up in the U.S. went down to just over 675,000, or 2.4 per capita in 2022 — although the most recent low came in 2020, when the rate of divorce was 2.3 per capita. (The CDC excluded California, Hawaii, Indiana, Minnesota and New Mexico from the national data.)

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According to family therapist Ian Kerner, this increase in married couples in the U.S. could potentially have a few different causes.

“In my practice over the last decade," Kerner told CNN, “I’ve noticed a gradual shift from the ‘romantic marriage’ to the ‘companionate marriage,’ meaning that people are increasingly choosing spouses at the outset who are more like best friends than passion-partners.”

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