Marriage rates are up in the US, and divorces are down, CDC says

Marriage rates in the United States have gone up since the pandemic began, according to new data shared by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

The marriage rate has been increasing since the pandemic put a pause on many weddings in 2020, with communities ordering people to stay at home and banning large gatherings to limit the spread of COVID-19. 

In the first year of the pandemic, there were 1.7 million U.S. weddings — the lowest number recorded since 1963.

Data shared by the CDC on Friday shows how the number of marriages grew from 5.1 per 1,000 people in 2020 to 6.2 per 1,000 people in 2022, the highest rate observed since 2018 and a 4% increase from the year before.

Between 2009 and 2013, the marriage rate stood at 6.8 per 1,000 people, according to the CDC. It slightly increased for a few years, hitting 7.0 per 1,000 people in 2016 and falling to 6.1 in 2019 before the onset of the pandemic in early 2020. 

By state, the number varied as well. The CDC reported that 36 states and the District of Columbia had marriage rates in 2022 that either matched or exceeded the levels seen in 2019, and 12 states saw marriage rates decline. 

FILE - Couples embrace at the (Re)Wedding at Lincoln Center on July 10, 2022, in New York City. (Photo by Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images)

FILE - Couples embrace at the (Re)Wedding at Lincoln Center on July 10, 2022, in New York City. (Photo by Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images)

The five states with the highest marriage rates in 2022:

The agency singled out five states with the highest marriage rates in 2022. It noted how the figures "reflect the location where the marriage occurred and do not necessarily indicate the place of residence."

New York, the District of Columbia and Hawaii saw the largest increases in marriages from 2021 to 2022. Nevada — home to Las Vegas’ famous wedding chapels — continued to have the highest marriage rate in the nation, though it slightly decreased from 2021.

  1. Nevada (25.9)
  2. Hawaii (14.4)
  3. Montana (9.9)
  4. Utah (9.9)
  5. Arkansas (7.9)

*Additionally, the District of Columbia had one of the highest rates at 8.3, the CDC said.

US divorce rates are going down

The rate of marriage couples getting divorced in 2022 was down slightly from 2021, continuing "a longstanding downward trend," the agency said. 

In 2022, there were just about 674,000 divorces, or 2.4 per 1,000 people, CDC data shows

The most recent low for the divorce rate was in 2020 when the rate was 2.3. 

The divorce data excludes California, Hawaii, Indiana, Minnesota, and New Mexico in national numbers, the agency noted.

Marriages are still far less common

Overall, marriages remain far less common than they once were in the U.S.

According to data that goes back to 1900, weddings hit their height in 1946, when the marriage rate was 16.4 per 1,000 people. 

The rate was above 10 in the early 1980s before beginning a decades-long decline. 

This story was reported from Cincinnati. The Associated Press contributed.