The 20 US States Leading (And Lagging) in Marriage Rates

Marriage in the United States isn’t a one-size-fits-all story. The likelihood of tying the knot varies from state to state. Whether influenced by economic conditions, cultural values, or lifestyle choices, marriage rates across the US offer a fascinating glimpse into where love thrives, and where it doesn’t. Some states cherish tradition and community, while others, with their fast-paced urban environments, see fewer trips down the aisle. Here are the most and least married states in the country.

The Charm of the Cowboy State

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Wyoming stands out as a leader in marriage rates. With its wide-open spaces and close-knit communities, it’s no wonder most residents aged 15 and up have walked down the aisle. This state’s strong sense of tradition and community could be critical factors in why marriage is so popular here.

Nevada’s Vegas Vows

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Nevada tops the list with a marriage rate of 21.0 per 1,000 residents. The ease and excitement of a Vegas wedding and the state’s flexible marriage laws make it a hotspot for couples nationwide. Las Vegas has countless wedding chapels, drive-through ceremonies, and themed wedding options, making it a fun and spontaneous choice. The state’s relatively low marriage fees and minimal waiting period add to the appeal.

Hawaii’s Island Idylls

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Famous for its stunning beaches and romantic getaways, Hawaii saw 18,498 couples tie the knot in 2021 alone. The state’s beautiful landscapes and popularity as a wedding destination contribute to its high marriage rates, drawing couples seeking a picturesque start to their union. Hawaii’s unique natural beauty, tropical climate, and luxurious resorts make it a dream destination for many.

Arkansas’s Southern Charm

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With its scenic beauty and warm hospitality, Arkansas boasts a marriage rate of 9.5 per 1,000 residents. The state’s emphasis on family values and affordable living costs makes it an inviting place for couples looking to tie the knot. Arkansas offers picturesque wedding venues like the Ozark Mountains and Hot Springs, attracting couples seeking a serene and natural setting.

Utah’s Family Focus

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With its strong family-oriented culture, Utah has a marriage rate of 8.4 per 1,000 residents. The state’s emphasis on marriage and large families is reflected in its higher-than-average marriage rates, supported by strong community and religious influences. The predominant influence of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which promotes early and lasting marriages, plays a significant role.

Tennessee’s Musical Matrimony

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Tennessee, home to the vibrant music scenes of Nashville and Memphis, has a marriage rate of 8.3 per 1,000 residents. The state’s blend of rich cultural heritage and southern hospitality is the perfect romantic backdrop for many couples. Iconic music venues and scenic countryside offer unique and memorable wedding locations.

New Hampshire’s Quaint Commitment

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In New Hampshire, almost 70% of people have walked down the aisle at least once, and most have stayed married. The state’s quaint towns and scenic beauty offer the perfect backdrop for those looking to wed.

Georgia’s Southern Hospitality

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With its historical cities and southern charm, Georgia’s marriage rate is an impressive 7.7 per 1,000 residents. The state’s mix of tradition and modernity creates a welcoming environment for couples ready to take the next step.

Idaho’s Natural Beauty

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With its breathtaking landscapes and outdoor adventures, it’s no wonder Idaho residents are keen to rush down the aisle. The state’s natural beauty and slower pace of life encourage couples to settle down and start families in a tranquil setting.

Colorado’s Rocky Mountain Romance

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Colorado is famed for its stunning Rocky Mountains, outdoor activities, and affordable cost of living. It also has a marriage rate of 7.3 per 1,000 residents. The state’s natural beauty sets the perfect scene for weddings and lasting relationships.

Kentucky’s Bluegrass Love

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Kentucky, known for its rolling hills and rich traditions, has a steady marriage rate of 7.3 per 1,000 residents. The state’s emphasis on family values and community ties makes it a nurturing environment for marriage.

Montana’s Big Sky Love

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Montana’s breathtaking landscapes and quiet lifestyle encourage many lovers to say, “I Do!” The state’s natural beauty and emphasis on family life make it an excellent place for couples to settle down.

Massachusetts’s New England Niche

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Due to the state’s rich history and excellent educational hubs, Massachusetts residents are in no rush to get hitched. The academic and career-driven environment could influence lower marriage rates, as residents often prioritize personal and professional growth.

California’s Coastal Cool

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California’s vast and varied landscape sees some of the lowest marriage rates in the country. The high cost of living and career-centric culture may affect this, with many people focusing on their careers before considering marriage. In major urban centers like Los Angeles and San Francisco, the emphasis on personal success and lifestyle flexibility causes many to delay or forgo marriage.

New York’s Big Apple Effect

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New York’s fast-paced lifestyle results in fewer residents saying “I do.” The state’s diverse population and career-focused mindset could be factors in these lower numbers, as many prioritize professional achievements over settling down. The high cost of living in cities like New York City makes marriage unaffordable for most young professionals.

Pennsylvania’s Historic Heart

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With its rich history and vibrant cities, Pennsylvania has a marriage rate of 4.0 per 1,000 residents. The blend of historical significance and modern amenities might lead residents to focus on their careers and personal development instead. Cities like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh attract young professionals who prioritize career advancement.

Illinois’s Urban Influence

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Illinois, home to the bustling city of Chicago, has few residents rushing to get hitched. The state’s major cities’ urban lifestyles and career priorities could influence the decreasing rates. Due to the high cost of living, the state’s marital rates are at an all-time low. Many people prefer non-traditional relationships over formal commitments.

Maryland’s Diverse Dynamic

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With its diverse population and bustling urban areas, Maryland’s marriage rate continues to decline each year. But the fast-paced lifestyle and high living costs might deter some from tying the knot.

Rhode Island’s Coastal Quaintness

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Just over a third of Rhode Island residents are married. The tight-knit communities and coastal charm offer a unique setting. Yet, fewer people choose to make a lifelong commitment here.

Is Virginia Still a State for Lovers?

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The state’s slogan, “Virginia is for lovers,” should reflect its romantic appeal, though it doesn’t rank highly in marriage rates. Initially created to promote tourism, the tagline has become a beloved state identity, encouraging love and romance in various forms (as long as no weddings are involved).

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Lori Meek

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